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The Favored Child (Wideacre #2)

3.59  ·  Rating Details ·  9,576 Ratings  ·  461 Reviews
The Wideacre estate is bankrupt. The villagers are living in poverty and Wideacre Hall is a smoke-blackened ruin. But, in the Dower House, two children are being raised in protected innocence.

Equal claimants to the estate, rivals for the love of the village, they are tied by a secret childhood betrothal but forbidden to marry. Only one can be the favored child. Only one

Paperback, 624 pages
Published July 2nd 2003 by Touchstone (first published 1989)
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Bettie If at all possible, then definitely yes. It is the second act of a three-act story and Wideacre is bedrock for the entire play. The Favo(u)red Child…moreIf at all possible, then definitely yes. It is the second act of a three-act story and Wideacre is bedrock for the entire play. The Favo(u)red Child is fully comprehensible as a stand-alone book but the reading experience would be hugely diminished by not having experienced Wideacre first.(less)

Community Reviews

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Reading Corner
Dec 25, 2015 Reading Corner rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So I haven't actually read the first book, Wideacre but it never affected my understanding or enjoyment of this book, although I'll definitely be seeking out the first book after this one. This is a fantastic historical novel which perfectly captures the massive unjust in society at the time between social classes and genders. This theme echoes throughout the whole novel and at times makes you clench your fists at the unfairness in it. I've never read a book that has given me such strong emotion ...more
Jan 22, 2008 Jan rated it liked it
Shelves: guiltypleasures
Wow, what is this...a trilogy about incest? At least one of the characters was a reluctant participant for this second book in the trilogy. This family has more bad karma than Oedipus. All the aristocratic decadence makes you want to cheer for the French Revolution and the guillotine. Whopping story, though, in a pervy kind of way.
OMG, I just overwrote my review for this one with ANOTHER review. *headdesk headdesk headdesk* Fuck it, I'm not rewriting it. So Review 2.0 will just be a series of incoherent ramblings written against the deadline of my laptop battery cacking on me.

* OMG, the gloomz & doomz in this one got me down, but not as much if I hadn't previously read The Girl From Storyville where the heroine also made all kinds of decisions that screwed her life six ways from Sunday, AND The Women of Eden which had
Aug 21, 2008 Brooke rated it did not like it
It's bad.
It's painful to read.
I think Gregory enjoys torturing her characters a little TOO much.
I read pretty well until about page 450 or so, but I just couldn't take it anymore. I skimmed the rest. I HAD to see what happened but I didn't want to actually READ it.
Sarah Mac
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 15, 2014 Anna rated it really liked it
Let's get this train wreck of a read started.
 photo look-its-a-nopecoaster.jpg

Years after the riot that led to the downfall of the Laceys, Wideacre, and Acre, the squires Richard and Julia slowly follow the footsteps their parents made. If you haven't read the first one, then you may want to remember Richard and Julia are incestual spawns of Beatrice and Lacey. Oh and they are betrothed to each other. We follow Julia's perspective on how she learns to love the land like Beatrice once did before going S&M on her brother. An
Sep 18, 2008 Barbara rated it really liked it
This is book 2 in a 3 part trilogy. Wideacre was the original book which started with Beatrice and her brother Harry. The Favored Child picks up with Beatrice's children Julia and Richard. I have read a lot of books but I've never read a book that I hated a character so much. Everytime Richard's name was even mentioned I wanted to slap him.

No spoilers if you have read book 1.

In Book 1, Beatrice makes sure that both her children are joint heirs for Acre. The children don't know it, but they are n
Mar 12, 2012 Camille rated it it was ok
Well - moving straight from Wildacre to this book, I was less than surprised to find similar themes. Unfortunately, where I somehow couldn't keep myself from liking Beatrice (I know - horrible, right?), I just couldn't seem to get on Julia's side. Right off the bat I was annoyed at her for not standing up for herself to Richard - a theme which continued throughout the entire book. I even put the book down in disgust and didn't come back to it for an entire evening (gasp!) SO frustrated. The only ...more
Jan 04, 2010 J rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 22, 2007 Celia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Gregory fans, highbrow historical bodice rippers fans
Hee-hee. Loved it. So it's "garbage." Big deal. It's really well-written, although maybe not as well as Wideacre, the first in the trilogy (Meridon is next). The story of the Lacey squires of Wideacre continues, and it's just as dark and compelling as it ever was.
This one looks at what became of the incestuous children of Wideacre, and the narrator is Julia, whom we know to be Beatrice and Harry's daughter although she has never been told. She is an intriguing if frustrating main character. I li
Nov 26, 2010 Annette rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: other-stories
What a horrible book that I couldn't put down.
A little past the middle of the book I was getting frustrated
and di start to skim through it to see what was going to happen.
It was just too difficult to read what Richard was doing.
I wanted to reach into the book and strangle him. He needed to be
dumped into a deep, dark dungeon and suffer for the rest of his life.
Death was too good for him.
As for Julia...Ralph tried to make her see the light.
When she didn't tell John and her mom what Richard had d
Feb 18, 2008 Sherry rated it liked it
2nd in the trilogy. Doesn't quite grab you like the first one. Seems like the brother is one of those pups that should have been drowned at birth.
Waiting to see what he does to screw up the protatagonists impending marriage.
Well, Richard is just completely insane, isn't he. And, as for Julia, I just kept screaming, "tell somebody, just tell somebody." Frustrating book to read.
Diamond Cowboy
Nov 25, 2015 Diamond Cowboy rated it really liked it
I loved this book. I will give a full review on it later today. Stay tuned my GoodReads friends and family. Enjoy and Be Blessed.
Jul 25, 2007 Paula rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: No One
The Favored Child. It was the 2nd book in a trilogy. I have since read the 1st book- Widacre and the 3rd- Meridon. the 1st and 2nd books were very annoying because you just HATE everyone in it. They basically make the same mistakes over and over proving that they are all idiots....who love incest apparently...anyway, the 3rd book was a little better b/c it was different than the first two and actually came to a resolution that wasn't totally idiotic as previous no inc ...more
Mimi Wolske
Feb 16, 2014 Mimi Wolske rated it really liked it
Fascinating, gripping, sexual, sensuous, grim, incestuous, a little mysterious, horrifying, unrelenting despair (and by comparison, I think Thomas Hardy's Tess of the d'Urbeyvilles got off light)—if these adjectives don't discourage you away from this love-it-or-hate-it book, you're in for a real ride.

Philippa Gregory's "The Favored Child" was written so expertly it did not depend too heavily on "Wideacre" (the first book of her trilogy) ... I know this because I did not read the first book, bu
"The favored child. The favored child. She always was the favored child."

Setting:Middlehurst, West Sussex, England; the late eighteenth century

Coverly Love?:I don't like it as well as the first cover, but it's still pretty, so overall yes.

Plot:It's been 11 years since Beatrice Lacey has ruined her beloved Wideacre. She leaves behind her daughter and son, Julia and Richard, to carry on the family name and run Wideacre. raised by their loving "Mama-Aunt" Celia, they are raised in the lands ruins
Axie Barclay
Dec 06, 2010 Axie Barclay rated it it was amazing
Picking up where Wideare left off, The Favored Child loses no momentum as is as amazing as the first installment of Philippa Gregory’s Lacey saga.

Julia Lacey, joint heir to the Wideacre estate, tells the story of her family, her aunt Beatrice who ruined Wideacre, and her and her cousin’s, Richard, attempts to revitalize the estate again. But things go horribly wrong with the tragic death of a horse and a hawk, which see what the adults should have seen all along.

Love, cruelty, unexpected famil
Sep 05, 2007 Wendy rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Fans of Wideacres
Themes continue from Wideacres...
The fun is in the main character's discovery of what you already know from Wideacres.
Samantha Trillium ☂
Mar 07, 2014 Samantha Trillium ☂ rated it really liked it
This book took a bit for me to get into at first. The first book in this trilogy (Wideacre), was just so intense that I actually had to read a couple of other books in between before I was ready to continue on.

I should also add, that seeing as this is book two, if you have not read book one, you probably shouldn't read on, as it will spoil the ending of Wideacre.

I was so upset at the ending of Wideacre, when Beatrice died. Aside from her gross love affairs with her idiot brother, I really love
Jessica Halleck
I loved this. When I wasn't reading it, I was thinking about it. This trilogy owns me hook, line, and sinker.

The Favored Child's main strength and its primary weakness is its connection to the first book, Wideacre. It relies on a similar pattern, plotwise, and very much on the legacy of Beatrice Lacey. This combination is at its absolute strongest in the book's second act when Julia Lacey is flourishing, learning to use her Lacey magic to triumphantly be everything that Beatrice should have bee
Robin Wiley
Apr 21, 2009 Robin Wiley rated it liked it
If you like Jane Austen, but wish it wasn't quite so vanilla - this trilogy is for you!

Each book is the story of a daughter of the grand estate, Wideacre. Julia is our heroine for this book.

If you are just looking for an easy period romance, I think you can have that here. My stepmother enjoyed this series, and she has no use for themes and discussion of those themes. Give her pretty dresses, pretty gardens to stroll in, grand balls, handsome men and fine marriages. She's a happy camper.

Nov 08, 2012 Andreea rated it it was ok
Weirdly addictive, but twisted book. While appalled at what I was reading, couldn't put it down.
What is happening in the book is indeed quite outrageous, but I could just as well get over the more icky parts - stuff like that never bothered me in literature, it makes things a bit more spicy. What I cannot actually believe, or understand is how the main character could be so spineless and st00pid.

Why was there any admiration from the village in the first place? Julia never once put her foot dow
Apr 11, 2010 Leane rated it it was amazing
Phillippa Gregory is a goddess! The Wideacre trilogy is fantastic! "Wideacre" was great, and this "The Favored Child" was very good as well. You feel so much for the characters. When Julia was happily in love with James, I was happy too. When she was depressed, I was depressed. I'm excited to see what the final book in the trilogy brings. I'm hoping there is finally a happy ending! Of course, some parts of this book were far fetched, like Julia turning into Beatrice and the moment in the summerh ...more
Nov 13, 2012 Quinn rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I wasn't quite so keen on this one. As in, seriously, incest was weird in the first book, and totally unnecessary in this one. And the emotional abuse and guilt tripping of Julia by Richard was just not on. Plus, I didn't connect with the characters in the same way. In Beatrice, there were elements of her personality which I liked, or recognised from myself, like the fact that she's stubborn and knows her own mind. That made her relatable for me, meaning that even when she did some horrific thin ...more
Jun 09, 2014 Teresa rated it liked it
Where to start?

I began reading The Favoured Child a few weeks after I finished Wideacre. And at times I felt as if it were a tired, dragged on retelling of the first book.

The author's language is maddeningly repetitive. The book could have done a lot better without the endless descriptions of the land and the water and how beautiful and fertile and awesome it was...Like I get the point!

Although it was a gripping read, and the ending was heartwrenching, I was simply tired by the mindlessly tortu
Nov 17, 2010 Julia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thought it was time to pick up another Philippa Gregory book. I truely am a fan, however, am feeling a little guilty. This is the 2nd book in a trilogy about eighteenth century England and the Wideacre estate. I love reading about this time period. Ms. Gregory has a theme of incest in the first and now the second book, thus my guilt. Putting that aside, it is quite high in drama and tells the story of 2 young children who think they are cousins, promise to marry each other (but are forbidden b ...more
Dec 26, 2013 Julia rated it really liked it
In this second book in the Wideacre trilogy, Julia and her cousin Richard have grown up together among the ruins of their family estate and have always planned to marry, despite their guardians’ disapproval. When, as a teenager, Julia begins to demonstrate a talent for working with the land and its inhabitants, Richard grows resentful. After all, only one of them can be the rumored favored child, the true heir to Wideacre.

Gregory’s early works are starting to remind me of V.C. Andrews’ style of
Paula Berinstein
May 22, 2016 Paula Berinstein rated it it was amazing
This is one of the best books I have ever read! Enthralling, compelling, and torturous, after about the first fifty pages it takes off and never stops. I just had to get to the end, so desperate was I to find out what was going to happen, and yet I dreaded finishing, for I wanted never to stop reading. Sometimes I was so wrung out that I felt that I was being reduced to jelly. I would give it ten stars if I could. Be forewarned, though: because of its dark themes, it is not for everyone. But if ...more
Cheyenne DeBorde
I love Gregory, you all know that, but I think the title of this could be reasonably replaced with "mandatory sequel because I got a trilogy deal" and still be accurate. The first book was stunning and obviously written from instinct and sensory immersion, but this one felt suspiciously like it was from the head and a plotting corkboard. The main character felt silly and weak for no story-related reason, and the characters who were deeply complex and reasonable in Wideacre became inconsistent an ...more
Amy John
Jul 29, 2010 Amy John rated it liked it
Great Sequel to Wideacre. You need to push yourself through the first few chapters but it is worth the effort, it all pays out in the end with a big finish.

I found myself yelling at the book at times for this child's ignorant perception on reality. It is obvious that Philippa wanted the characters to play out this way, and it makes it so much fun when you get to almost interact with the book . Made it feel like that scene in the movie of the "Neverending Story" where Sebastian is in the janitor
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 2 Feb 27, 2015 12:18PM  
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Philippa Gregory was an established historian and writer when she discovered her interest in the Tudor period and wrote the novel The Other Boleyn Girl, which was made into a TV drama and a major film. Published in 2009, the bestselling The White Queen, the story of Elizabeth Woodville, ushered in a new series involving The Cousins’ War (now known as The War of the Roses) and a new era for the acc ...more
More about Philippa Gregory...

Other Books in the Series

Wideacre (3 books)
  • Wideacre  (The Wideacre Trilogy, #1)
  • Meridon (The Wideacre Trilogy, #3)

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“The art of happiness is being content with what you have,' she would say, looking with apparent satisfaction out of the dusty windows at the garden, yellowing like an uncut hayfield in the October sunshine.” 3 likes
“Don't be afraid of the future, little Julia. Take your present life and live it.” 2 likes
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