Atria. (Fairmile, Bk. 1). Aug. 2019. 480p. ISBN 9781501187155. $28; ebk. ISBN 9781501187179. F
Gregory, author of a number of highly acclaimed historicals, such as her series on the Plantagenets and Tudors (The Last Tudor), begins a new series with a gripping novel set during just a few months of the English Civil War. With her usual meticulous attention to detail, the author easily elicits the chaos and dangers of the mid-17th century. Unlike her other historical novels, this one focuses on a small, overlooked village at the very edge of England. It explores the unexpected ways in which chance encounters can alter the course of one’s life. This series, as with John Galsworthy’s “Forsyte Saga,” follows the fortunes of one family. Alinor, a midwife and herbalist, deserted by her husband, lives mainly for her children. One night, she takes in a stranger who is loyal to the exiled King Charles I, changing her life and the lives of her children irrevocably.
VERDICT This book will leave readers eagerly awaiting the next installment in the series. Fans of Gregory’s works and of historicals in general will delight in this page-turning tale. [See Prepub Alert, 2/11/19.]

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