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Tidelands

Narrated by: Louise Brealey
Length: 15 hrs and 29 mins
4.3 out of 5 stars (597 ratings)

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Summary

The brand-new series from the Sunday Times number one best selling author.

England, 1648. A dangerous time for a woman to be different....

Midsummer’s Eve, 1648, and England is in the grip of civil war between renegade King and rebellious Parliament. The struggle reaches every corner of the kingdom, even to the remote Tidelands - the marshy landscape of the south coast. 

Alinor, a descendant of wise women, crushed by poverty and superstition, waits in the graveyard under the full moon for a ghost who will declare her free from her abusive husband. Instead she meets James, a young man on the run, and shows him the secret ways across the treacherous marsh, not knowing that she is leading disaster into the heart of her life.

Suspected of possessing dark secrets in superstitious times, Alinor’s ambition and determination mark her out from her neighbours. This is the time of witch-mania, and Alinor, a woman without a husband, skilled with herbs, suddenly enriched, arouses envy in her rivals and fear among the villagers, who are ready to take lethal action into their own hands.

The unmissable listen for summer 2019.

©2019 Philippa Gregory (P)2019 Simon & Schuster UK

Critic reviews

"Popular historical fiction at its finest, immaculately researched and superbly told." (The Times)

"Philippa Gregory is truly the mistress of the historical novel. It would be hard to make history more entertaining, lively or engaging." (Sunday Express)

"Gregory has popularised Tudor history perhaps more than any other living fiction writer...All of her books feature strong, complex women, doing their best to improve their lives in worlds dominated by men." (Sunday Times)

What listeners say about Tidelands

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Engaging story, sadly let down by narration

A gripping story, thoroughly researched as usual by Philippa Gregory, full of tension, suspense and historic human detail, sadly let down by the narration. I read previous Audible reviews and should have paid more attention to the one listener who gave up early because of Louise Brealey’s narration. Certainly, I wish I’d read the book, rather than heard it. It is so important to get the right reader - someone who can switch their voices and accents at will, and most importantly, someone who is following the story! At times, the narration stopped me in my tracks for its flatness, or when the narrator didn’t seem to realise that the speaker had changed, as she continued with the same voice and tone. My first Audible book was read beautifully by the wonderful Juliet Stevenson. Ms Gregory should have insisted her publishers paid the extra to engage her narration services instead. The story is enjoyable but I’m afraid listening to it pretty much spoilt it for me.

36 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

I can't believe a word of it

King Charles is imprisoned. Cromwell's army seems to be winning. The setting is well described - you only need the book title. Our heroine is an impoverished midwife with 2 children, Aleanor, who has been abandoned by her hubby. A romantic stranger lands in the village and needs her help. Guess what. They get together despite the obstacles. Because she deals with illness, childbirth, herbs and things, the word witch keeps getting mentioned, as does her fear of water. There is a horrible inevitability about what you know is going to happen to her. A brief interlude has Aleanor and Our Hero locked in an attic for 2 nights while she nurses him- unbelieveable!!! and that is what I thought about most of the book. The story is contrived to pull together history, a bit of feminism, something about the land and sea, etc, and the characters lie flat on the page because it just doesn't spring to life. The Hero is stooopid. The heroine a blinking saint. Her children paragons of virtue. Her hubby a Bad Man like in a panto. The sea goes in and out - now that I believe. I'm sure a lot of these things happened in those times. It is like all the right words but not quite in the right order to be real enough, despite pleasant narration. Disappointing.

30 people found this helpful

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Biggest Phillipa Gregory fan but narration

Monotone narration - I couldn’t distinguish any of the characters - all sound the same as the narrator doesn’t make any effort - ruined , where’s Bianca Almata ?

22 people found this helpful

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Worst ending ever!

Don’t invest too heavily in this story or the characters. Such a dissatisfying ending. I’m actually pretty grumpy about it.

18 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

A good book ruined by poor narration

I've read almost all of this author's books & whilst it is a good story I didn't find it her best. However, I'm sure that is partly due to the lack decent narration. For some reason this narrator creates her own punctuation, for example pausing where she expects a sentence to end rather than where to does. It is reading out loud but without any sense of what is being read. If the storyline were not as strong as it is I would have given in to irritation & given up. I won't buy the next one if it is the same narrator.

13 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Not Philippa Gregory's Best

I own this book in hardcover but found it a bit of a slog to read. I bought the Audible version in the hopes that I'd enjoy it as I went about my day. Alas I am finding this a slog too. The heroine's life is just too depressing and her lover despicable. The only character I have any time for is her daughter. There is no humour anywhere; just relentless misery and bigotry. Perhaps the Seventeenth Century was like that. Perhaps later books in what is clearly to be a series may improve but I'll wait for the paperback next time.

11 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Not her best

I usually love Philippa Gregory novels, and quite often listen to them several times but this was not one of her usual standard. None of the characters were appealing, majority of them weak or spiteful, and it’s not just about the setting (17th century and all its peculiarities - subservience/misogyny/fear of witchcraft/religious feuds etc). I felt the storyline was overly protracted at times too. Didn’t really enjoy this book.

9 people found this helpful

Really enjoyed this book

I have been looking forward to Tidelands and I wasn't disappointed, listened to it all night and finished it in one sitting...I hope you enjoy it as much as I did...Brilliant ❤

9 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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Dreadful Narration

I gave up after 10 minutes when the voice of a nobleman and that of a fisherman's wife were identical. Surely such a well known author could have secured a better narrator. Can't review the story as couldn't cope with narration .

17 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Not as good as other Phillipa Gregory books

The overall theme of the book was ok and started out promising but found it lacked any real twists. The main character was likable but found her a bit lacking. the end was a real disappointment and it was like Phillipa got bored or writing so just finished it. a real shame.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Loretta J. Miller
  • 10-05-20

a bit of a disappointment

i have many books written by this author and enjoyed them all. however this new book while an excellent story left me confused and disappointed with the ending. in past books shes always drawn the story together by the end. this one was a total let down.