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The Lady's Slipper: A Novel

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3.45 of 5 stars 3.45  ·  rating details  ·  519 ratings  ·  207 reviews
1660. King Charles II has returned from exile, but memories of the English Civil War still rankle. There are old scores to settle, and religious differences threaten to overturn a fragile peace. When Alice Ibbetson discovers a rare orchid, the Lady's Slipper, growing in a wood belonging to Richard Wheeler, she is captivated by its beauty-- though Wheeler, a Quaker, is dete ...more
ebook, 464 pages
Published November 23rd 2010 by St. Martin's Griffin (first published June 4th 2010)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,276)
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Kathryn
This was a terrific book. I would have given it five stars, but am not usually fond of romances. I absolutely love the historical aspects of the novel and was pleasantly surprised at how fascinating the story of the Lady's Slipper orchid was and at how it was integrated into the story. The characters were so very likable.
Amy

It’s amazing that the theft of one little harmless orchid could set off a series of happenings that will turn three lives upside down!

Alice is still in deep mourning over the death of her little sister Flora and has grown moody, introverted and spends most of her time among her paints and flower paintings. When Richard Wheeler shows her the rare Lady’s Slipper orchid growing on his land, she feels she must save it and ensure its survival.

But Alice is not the only one with a plan for the orchid.

R
...more
Lucinda
A gratifyingly authentic insight into 17th Century life, wrought with heated passion and sordid brutality

Deborah Swift cuts strait to the heart of history with exquisite European Literature, filled with realistic accounts and faithful links to our past. Having loved “The Gilded Lily” I was elated to be given the opportunity of delving into another tempting read; confident by the credibility of the author’s ability at being sensitively aware of how past events are perceived. Alice Ibbetson, auth
...more
Charlie
I received a review copy from the http://www.hns-conference.org.uk/ goodie bag and briefly met Deborah Swift at the Conference.

I started it yesterday and I literally couldn't put 'The Lady's Slipper' down!

I finished it today.

Verdict: I loved it!

It's got everything I love; a pacy story; proper plotting and setting. It's got botany and herbalism. It's got cunning folk. It's got art. It's got mystery. It's got romance without the ghastly (but so often obligatory) Elizabeth Bennett conceit of an a
...more
Holly Weiss
A Lady’s Slipper—Innocent Wildflower or Telltale Evidence?

Author Deborah Swift took a summer walk in the woods of the mountain district in England where she resides. She discovered Britain’s rarest wildflower, the elegant lady’s slipper, and wrote a poem about it. Feeling the poem paid insufficient homage to the rare orchid, she fashioned a chapter where it could be admired by characters. Chapters blossomed into a book, The Lady’s Slipper, featuring main character, Alice Ibbetson, a botanist and
...more
Carol
This book is amazing! The more I read the more I wanted to read. The setting is in Lancaster, England and New England in the 1660s to 1695. Everything including the social customs and clothing of the upper and lower class, and the speech were carefully researched and set into this book as seamlessly. Even the names of the characters fit, the last names of the characters were appropriate for that region of England. I know this last fact because one of my family surnames was in this book and was c ...more
Barbara
This was a fun, quick read -- definitely a page-turner. I really enjoyed the historical aspects of the story, but I was not crazy about many of the characters in this story. I cared about what happened to Alice and to Richard, but they were confusing characters and I found them difficult to really understand. And there were many characters who were just absolutely evil, which makes the book difficult to really love. (I actually couldn't decide whether to give this book three or four stars, but a ...more
Marg
There's nothing like an aversion to reading connected books out of order and an impending blog tour date for the second book to get you reading a book that you have had sitting on your shelf for a couple of years! Sometimes that may be a bit detrimental if you have the pressure of getting something read, and you aren't really enjoying the book, but in this case, I was pretty happy to get lost in this unusual book from Deborah Swift.

There are several reasons why this book is unusual. The first i
...more
Susan
Such. a long. read. Seriously. With the worst last 30 pages ever. She has 430 pages to develop a love story and instead decides to develop it in two. I love a good romance, but in this case I could have done without it considering the terrible job she did of creating an relationship between the two characters before having them fall madly in love with each other. I'd say about 200 hundred pages of this book are worth reading and the rest are just tolerable. Don't waste your time. You'll pick it ...more
Tobyann Aparisi
Nov 01, 2010 Tobyann Aparisi rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone that loves period piece stories
Recommended to Tobyann by: first reads
I cherished this opportunity to read such a beautiful and wonderful book. I don't typically read this type of book but I did not find it disappointing. It is a beautifully written story with great detail to the characters and bringing the reader to the time period of which these events were to have occured. This book will be a treasured gift in anyone's collection. A fine mystery and touching story. Thank you for allowing me to be a first reads reader of this excellent book.
KJ, Madame Librarian
This movie is what would happen if Jerry Bruckheimer had tried to produce and direct Shakespeare in Love.

It would make no sense. It would entertain no one. And everyone who watched it would feel both angry and also somehow diminished in intellect for having seen it.
Nicki
**Careful darling; Spoilers**
The Lady’s Slipper… I thought that using a rare flower as a main plot device was certainly unique and unusual and was one reason I was drawn to this book. However, the story itself was simply not something that ultimately appealed to me. I didn't really care for the characters and found myself more annoyed than drawn in. This was a long read, and it kind of ruined my enjoyment. I saw this book as more of a task than an escape. The main interesting character flits fro
...more
Carol W
Set in a rural village, in turbulent times, with several powerful characters, including.....


Alice, still in mourning for her young sister, becomes obsessed with the idea that she is the only person who can save The Lady's Slipper and breed more for the orchid's future.


Thomas - Alice's husband who was kind enough to marry Alice and take on her young sister, Flora.


Wheeler, former soldier who has given up his luxurious lifestyle and vowed to live as a peaceful Quaker.


Sir Geoffrey Fisk, patron to Al
...more
Kami
Oct 26, 2014 Kami marked it as unfinished  ·  review of another edition
I was a lucky winner of an ARC copy of this book. I was really excited to read it, but sadly, I only made it to about pg 120 before I decided to stop reading.

The story was really good, and I was enjoying it. I can't believe everything started because of a single orchid. I liked a few of the characters, and I would have finished the book except for one thing: sex. A lot things eluded to and talked about people committing adultery, but it didn't stop from just talking. The book became sexually gr
...more
Annemarie Neary
I met the author briefly at the recent HNS conference, and then when I got home I noticed that this book had been included in the official goody bag. I set to read right away, and I’m glad I did. One of the things I liked most about this was the tone of dialogue – a ferociously difficult thing to get right in this genre. Swift gives her characters naturalistic speech that is neither too modern nor too antique. She pulls off a similar achievement when it comes to the extent of the historical deta ...more
Sara
I received this book as a First Reads Giveaway.

First off, this book was beautifully written. Not my usual style novel but the more I read the more intwined in the story I became. I love the detail that comes with reading historical and Deborah Swift has an eye for it.

Sorry I'm not one for story recaps. These are just my thoughts on it and I will suggest it to others.

Will look for more from this author.
Eliza Graham
It comes as no surprise to discover that Deborah Swift is a set and costume designer. Her eye for detail makes her debut a smoothly-plotted, authentic read. She keeps the strands of her story taut and I found myself unable to put The Lady's Slipper down. Deborah Swift is an author to watch.
Sarah Rogan
Beautifully written novel which will be of interest to anyone with links to the North Lancashire/South Cumbria area where the book is set.
Emily
So far I'm about a 3 to 4 stars rating. The story is really starting to roll and I'm having a hard time putting it down. All though there is a lot of injustice going on right now, I'm hopeful that there will be justice and some what of a happy ending. There is some surprising sex scenes that I wasn't expecting and I should have stopped reading then but I went on. Here's hoping it turns out to be a good one. 7/5/11
I finished today and I have changed my rating to 5 stars which you probably guessed
...more
Book Him Danno
I want to give it 3 1/2 stars, it was good but very long and drawn out. The story was interesting, but the descriptions were huge and went on and on and on. Alice is lost and thinks she can somehow find herself in the propagation of a rare orchid, but she discovers that it only brings pain into her life. Richard is also lost and looking for something to help him get over the war and the horrors he had to live. They both need something, but neither knows what.
Geoffrey is a piece of work who desp
...more
Anita
Westmoreland in 1660, where Alice Ibbetson, a young wife mourning the loss of a beloved younger sister, is passionate about painting wild flowers. When Richard Wheeler, a local Quaker who was once a member of Cromwell’s New Model Army shows her a rare orchid, the Lady’s Slipper, growing in his wood, Alice is so obsessed with preserving and cultivating the flower she tries to convince Wheeler to give it to her. When the Quaker insists the flower must grow where God intended, Alice creeps out of h ...more
Shannon
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Beth
Once again, a very good historical fiction piece about England during Cromwell's rule, and the emergence of the Quakers (Society of Friends) during this time period.

Alice, one of the main characters is a talented painter of plants and understands gardening/plants. She stumbles upon the "Lady's Slipper" and steals it, truly setting off a chain of events leading to murder, ghosts, fires, jail, false accusations, adultery, all to name a few. It is an exaggeration to say that the flower caused all o
...more
Jennifer
I received this book as part of a first-reads giveaway.

The Lady's Slipper is a well-written and fascinating historical fiction novel.
The main character Alice's life is changed in interesting ways because of the act of taking a rare lady's slipper from the wild.
I liked the intricately woven plot with its many twists and turns and interconnectedness of the characters. The characters are well developped and believable, and their fates are all intertwined. There are a wide range of characters in th
...more
Holly
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sarah
I read the first 75 pages of this novel but couldn't get much further. While the premise of the novel was very intriguing, the characters and plot were incredibly slow-moving and I felt very detached while reading. I knew it was time to give up when I couldn't bring myself to pick the book up again. The characters seemed to lack passion about anything, and I felt as if we were being told about Alice's feelings and demeanor rather than being shown. This is definitely historical fiction that can b ...more
Kate Forsyth
Set in 1666, soon after the restoration of King Charless II, this novel tells the story of how Alice – a young wife and talented painter - discovers a rare orchid, the Lady’s Slipper, growing in a nearby wood. She is captivated by its beauty and wants to paint it, but the owner of the wood —a Quaker called Richard Wheeler, is determined to keep the flower where God intended it to grow. So Alice steals the flower, and sets off a chain of events including murder, riot, witchcraft, betrayal and exi ...more
Margaret
This was a book give away for me. I really liked how well the book was put together. It looks like a mass market, but is actually a trade size.
I did not think the book would be very good as it started out slow, but I made myself keep reading as I felt it only fair to give this book a review of some kind. I was glad I kept reading as the book turned out to be very good.
I would have liked to have seen her characters fleshed out a little more. I thought a second book on Stephen/Sam might be nice.
Darrick Taylor
The Lady’s Slipper is a historical novel, set in the Restoration period (1660-1688) of English history, and revolves around the theft of an extremely rare flower—the title name—by Alice Ibbetson, a painter and amateur botanist. She steals it from its owner, a Quaker named Richard Wheeler, who immediately suspects her of the theft, but the flower is also coveted by Alice’s patron, a nobleman named Gregory Fisk who suffers from a skin ailment and wants the flower for its medicinal properties. Alic ...more
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Sinopsis en Español 1 1 Nov 19, 2014 03:11PM  
¿Por qué no una traducción al Español? 1 1 Oct 22, 2014 03:43PM  
Translation to Spanish, why not? 1 2 Jul 07, 2014 06:03PM  
Is there anything bad in this book? 1 3 Jun 14, 2014 07:09PM  
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3297217
I am a novelist living in the Lake District in England. I write historical fiction but read widely - contemporary and classic fiction. I choose my books carefully, so I don't read many duds. If I do, they are not reviewed here, as a gesture of respect to other writers.

I blog at my website
www.deborahswift.com
More about Deborah Swift...
The Gilded Lily A Divided Inheritance Shadow on the Highway (The Highway Trilogy, #1) Castles, Customs, and Kings: True Tales by English Historical Fiction Authors The Beggar at the Gate and Other Stories: HNSLondon12 Short Story Anthology

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