Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Tidelands” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


(The Fairmile #1)

3.79  ·  Rating details ·  6,268 ratings  ·  1,054 reviews
The #1 New York Times bestselling author and "one of the great storytellers of our time" (San Francisco Book Review) turns from the glamour of the royal courts to tell the story of an ordinary woman, Alinor, who cannot bear to conform to the life that lies before her.

Midsummer's Eve, 1648, England is in the grip of a civil war between renegade king and rebellious
Paperback, 480 pages
Published February 18th 2020 by Washington Square Press (first published August 20th 2019)
More Details... Edit Details

Win a Copy of This Book

  • Tidelands by Philippa Gregory
    Release date: Feb 18, 2020
    Enter for the chance to WIN one of 40 copies of TIDELANDS by Philippa Gregory.

    The #1 New York Times bestselling author and “one of the great

    Format: Print book

    Giveaway ends in: a

    Availability: 40 copies available, 955 people requesting

    Giveaway dates: Feb 18 - Mar 02, 2020

    Countries available: Canada

  • Friend Reviews

    To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

    Reader Q&A

    To ask other readers questions about Tidelands, please sign up.
    Popular Answered Questions
    Cherei Just finished reading it.

    TIDELANDS by Philippa Gregory is a historical mystery that will transport you back in time to the mid-sixteen hundreds. A…more
    Just finished reading it.

    TIDELANDS by Philippa Gregory is a historical mystery that will transport you back in time to the mid-sixteen hundreds. A perilous time for women, especially women who could easily be pointed out as a witch. I have not read this author’s novels previously. I just love historical thrillers! I could tell right away that the story was setting up a new series that I’m sure will garner many new readers to the story about Alinor and her children. Alinor copes the best she can with a “missing husband” that she would appreciate remaining missing. Lol. Her children mean everything to her. But, despite all of this.. she makes a decision to assist a fugitive of the ongoing religious war that is taking place in Britain. This is during the time that Brits guilty of practicing Catholicism could be arrested and most likely found guilty of whatever and put to death. I enjoyed the story quite a bit! I found it to have quite a bit of set up in the beginning and then the story starts picking up speed. I look forward to reading the next book in the series as I was left waiting to find out more.. much, much more! Good stuff! (less)
    This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

    Community Reviews

    Showing 1-30
    Average rating 3.79  · 
    Rating details
     ·  6,268 ratings  ·  1,054 reviews

    More filters
    Sort order
    Start your review of Tidelands
    Sep 25, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
    I have read several novels by Ms Gregory, and I cannot recall that much of a romance thing in any of them. I may be in the minority here, however, I want to be honest with myself, whcih is always the case, and I cannot say I enjoyed Tidelands too much. The premise and the period are presented exceptionally well, as is always the case with Ms Gregory, but this time the rather unbelievable characters and their improbable relationships were too much for me. When I read a HF, I want solid historical ...more
    Angela M
    Aug 01, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    3.5 stars rounded up.
    It’s a hard life for Alinor and her children who live on Sealsea Island, off the south coast of England, the tidelands “neither sea nor shore”. She’s a healer who grows herbs for medicine, delivers babies and works at times for the more well off residents as does her thirteen year old daughter and son. Her husband is missing, yet in 1648, a woman is defined by her husband and she is “not a widow nor a wife”, so when good fortune comes to her son, there are innuendos that she
    The time is 1648, not an easy time to be a woman, especially a woman without a husband. Alinor is left a single mother of two when her husband goes out to sea and never returns. She ekes out a living as a midwife and herbalist, in a time when those activities were viewed with suspicion and accusations of witchcraft were common.

    The country is in the midst of a civil war between the King and his supporters and Parliament. Alinor’s path crosses with James, a young priest and a Royalist. She helps
    leslie hamod
    Jan 09, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    It's the English Revolution. Oliver Cromwell is in charge and King Charles I had been beheaded. A new England lies ahead. As a woman some things never change. Reputation is everything. Especially for a woman whose husband is missing.
    Being alone with two children makes Alyson the lowest in the social caste. As a healer she must guard against the accusation of witch. This is the fear of all women. Ducking in water is the order of the day. Unfortunately, death by drowning is the proof of

    philippa gregory is a name i can be counted on to invoke whenever i’m doing any RA spiel bullet-pointing the many different flavors of historical fiction, with her oeuvre representing the well-researched, female-fronted, literary romance-ish bracket.

    i read The Other Boleyn Girl ages ago, and i remember liking it, so when i saw that her new series would focus on 17th century england with a witchcraft angle, well here i came.

    i’m a new england girl who grew up on stories of goody
    Tidelands is the first in The Fairmile series by Philippa Gregory and is set in England in 1648 when civil war, poverty and treachery surrounded the residents. On Midsummer’s Eve, Alinor searched for answers about her missing brute of a husband, but instead she found James, a young man who needed to stay hidden. Alinor kept him safe as they crossed the marshlands, then hiding him in her netting shed – her life changed that night and in all the nights and days to follow.

    Alys and Rob were Alinor’s
    4+ stars - Philippa Gregory writes in her author’s note at the end of ‘Tidelands’ that she wonders whether “It is possible to tell a fictional story which tells a historical truth,” and I believe she answers her own question with this novel, as I’m sure was her goal. In her note, she discusses the ‘historical truth’ of which she speaks, the voiceless women of whom no records were kept, their deeds unmarked, their education unattended, and still, they persevered in making lives for themselves, ...more
    Sep 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    One can always count on Philippa Gregory to write of women who are strong, determined, and courageous. With lots of evident research, she gives a human voice to these women, making them come alive as she imbues in them human frailties and an innate wisdom that came with living in the times that they did. From The Other Boleyn Woman to this current book, we meet women who are set in their determination and do all that is needed to succeed, to live another day.

    In this current outing, we meet
    The enemy from without and the enemy from within....

    Philippa Gregory has always left her thumbprint on novels of English castles and royalty. But this one has a particular flavor centering upon Sealsea Island near the tidelands in 1648. We're introduced to Alinor known also as Goody Reekie. Alinor has climbed to the top of the church tower at midnight gazing out to sea for her lost husband, Zachary. Zachary has been missing for almost a year. Neither widow nor wife, Alinor keeps her vigil.

    Laura • lauralovestoread
    4.5 stars! I have started making my way through Philippa Gregory’s fabulous books, and I was so excited to read her newest series and novel, Tidelands.

    In this story, the reader is taken to 1648 England, in the midst of the Civil War between King and Parliament.

    I loved the research that went into this book, and I’m always amazed at Gregory’s storytelling talent to retell history. I’ve always been a fan of historical fiction, and can only imagine what life for a woman would have been like during
    Sep 17, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
    Dull. I am disappointed even though I know that Philippa Gregory’s writing is not consistent to my tastes. Some I like and some are a crushing bore. I was motivated to read this as it is set in the time of the Civil war and Cromwell.
    Erin Clemence
    Aug 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: first-reads, kindle
    Special thanks to the publisher and Net Galley for a free, electronic version of this novel.

    It’s 1648 and England is in the midst of civil unrest, with the parliament threatening to overthrow and charge the ruling King. Alinor is a midwife and healer, living in a small shack in the tidelands, with her son and daughter. Alinor’s husband has disappeared, claiming she had “seduced” him with her magical powers, and their children did not belong to him, but Alinor is determined to make it on her
    Jul 20, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Wheww, can I just say: As a woman, I’m so glad I was born in this age and not the 17th century! Because holy doo doo...we think being a woman is hard today?? It ain’t nothin (comparatively speaking)!! Anyway, other than this new appreciation I have for the time I live in, I also thoroughly enjoyed the history lesson I received from Tidelands.
    It’s set in what was an incredibly tumultuous time for England. The mid 1600s during the English Civil War, when King Charles I & parliament were
    As I've read 21 books by Philippa Gregory and adored most of them, I was eagerly awaiting this new series. I'm sorry to say that Tidelands did not weave the magic I've come to expect of her novels.

    The first third of the book was extremely slow and consists mostly of details of Alinor's daily routine. Obviously, a historical fiction title should include information of the time and place, but this should form a natural part of the story, not take over the plot and feel like the focus of the
    Veronica ⭐️
    England 1648 is a dangerous time for a woman especially if you have intelligence, beauty and determination.

    Allinor is a herbalist, a healer just like her mother before her. However her skill with herbs and her outstanding beauty cause mistrust and jealousy. She is gossiped about as being a witch. With her husband missing she is left to bring up two children alone.

    Tidelands is set during the last few months of King Charles I’s reign and a time of religious
    Sep 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    It is 1648 and England is at war from within. The king has fled and Parliament has taken over. In the midst of civil war, the Tidelands at Sealsea Island are not just a mix of land and water, but also a mix of those loyal to the king and those supporting parliament. It's a turbulent time. Alinor goes to the church one night to look for the ghost of her husband, who disappeared at sea the year before. Instead, she meets a priest who is hiding and helps him, not realizing this act of kindness will ...more

    More than halfway through and I had to return my copy to the library. A month later I realized, Id forgotten I had even started it and that TBR list isn’t getting any shorter.

    Am I dying to see how it ends now that I’ve waited a month? Not really.

    I usually love Gregory’s slightly “guilty pleasure” historical fiction books. Not this one. Super strong heroine falls in love with ever so slightly wimpy hero.

    Moving on...
    Carol Jones
    Oct 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    The setting for Philippa Gregory's new historical novel, the first in the Fairmile series, is the coastal marshes of England's south coast in 1648, during the civil war between Parliament and the King. It centres on Alinor, a healer and midwife, and her son and daughter, whose fisherman father has left them. Abandoned to poverty, Alinor does her utmost to give her children the best chance she can, while trying to avoid the kind of trouble that routinely comes to a beautiful, lone 'wise woman' in ...more
    Gloria Arthur
    Sep 12, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

    Interesting, memorable and atmospheric

    The story is set in 1648 on Sealsea Island, England in the marshy landscape of the tidelands. Alinor is waiting in anticipation at the church graveyard hoping to catch sight of her missing husbands ghost to confirm his death as this was the walking night for the dead.

    Alinor suspects her husband has drowned, she has been abandoned living in poverty with her two children, Alys and Rob. If Zachary was drowned she would be free....While waiting and
    4.5 stars - Incredible. I really loved it.

    On Midsummer Eve, Alinor waits in the church graveyard, hoping to encounter her missing husband’s ghost and thus confirm his death. Instead, she meets a stranger, a man named James, who is a Catholic priest and a spy in secret service to the exiled King Charles.

    Unlike most of the novels I have read by Philippa Gregory, politics and royal intrigue are in the background here with romance being in the foreground. At first, I didn’t think I would like this
    Set against the English Civil War, between Parliamentarians and Royalists over the governance.

    The Isle of Wight, 1648: The king is imprisoned and rebellious parliament is in power.

    Sussex, 1648: Alinor, living on the tidelands of the Saxon shore, is 27 and already very weary. Now, a widow of the missing fisherman and abusive husband. Her path crosses with a priest in hiding. James believes in the old religion and in restoring king to its rightful place. Alinor helps him to pass the treacherous
    Susan Johnson
    Jun 08, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    I always look forward to a Philippa Gregory book and this was no exception. It was a slow read for me until the exciting finish but it is the first book of the series and I think Gregory spent a lot of time laying the groundwork. She envisions a long series like the The Forsythe Saga so she wanted a good foundation.

    Set in 1648 during the English Civil War, Alinor is a poor woman, and I do mean poor, who is raising her two children after her fisherman husband sailed out one day and never
    Tracey Allen at Carpe Librum
    Tidelands by Philippa Gregory is my most anticipated new release for 2019 and I was excited to get my hands on it. Set in England 1648, this is a brand new series from one of my favourite historical fiction authors.

    In this new series, Philippa Gregory is going to be tracing generations of the same family through their lives beginning in 17th century England, and following them all the way to Europe and the United States. Spanning more than two centuries, this series will show how regular,
    Laurie Anderson
    Doesn’t feel fair to rate this, because it’s simply not my cup of tea. I enjoyed the setting and the well-written descriptions of life in 1648, but the plot moved too slowly for me and was predictable.
    the latest from Gregory based in Sussex at the time of the end of the civil war. liked the strong female lead character in the book, this was the only character in the novel which I believed in but however felt the ending seemed a bit rushed though and felt disappointed about that.
    Aug 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    I give this book five stars because it is full of superlatives - not the normal ones, like "amazing" or "awesome" but harder, grittier truths that need to be told. As I read, I thought of two other books Tidelands brings to mind, Delia Owens book "Where the Crawdads Sing" and Margaret Atwoods book The Handmaiden.

    Women today are not equal. And at the same time, we are so much safer than we once were, have so many more rights than we once did, and we need to keep in mind that unless we stand up
    Jill Miclean
    I love Phillippa Gregory. Her Plantagenet & Tudor series are among my favorite books and her The Other Boleyn Girl got me started on my love of Historical Fiction. However, Tidelands falls short for me. It was plodding and tiresome in it's descriptions of the tidelands and it's people. There was nothing redeeming about anyone save for the main character, Alinor, and maybe that was the point - that she was as mired in the muck as her surroundings.

    I liked how well the book showed the
    I've not read any Philippa Gregory before. Not because of any great aversion to her or her stories, but I guess I get caught up in all the sci-fi and action-filled kind of stories coming out, and have yet to get around to reading her... though I had seen at least one of the movies based on her books, and I own several of her books.

    But there are a few things I'm totally obsessed with and will pick up pretty much any book with these themes and give it a chance. This one seems to take place during
    Tidelands turned out to be my first read by Phillippa Gregory although I do have a couple of other titles of hers on my bookshelf.. And I absolutely enjoyed it.

    From the first page to pretty much the last, you are gripped with its sense of foreboding and unnerving, giving you as the reader the feeling of sitting on the edge of a knife...
    I thoroughly enjoyed the character of Alinor and how she tackled what was thrown at her and her family... I cannot wait for the next part of this saga to see how
    Jeanette Lewis
    Nov 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    1628, this is the time of Oliver Cromwell and the deposed King Charles 1. Dangerous and austere times, the Papist Church with the Catholic clergy have gone, the gold and richness in churches has been forbidden along with the holy communion and incense as well as the banning of work and other activities on the Sabbath and the prohibition of strong alcohol (ale was consumed in preference to mostly polluted water).

    There was little consideration given to all females at this time with those in poor
    « previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
    topics  posts  views  last activity   
    Aussie Readers: S&S Australia ARC June Giveaways - closes 30th June! 15 79 Jul 30, 2019 07:05AM  

    Readers also enjoyed

    • A Single Thread
    • The World That We Knew
    • The Giver of Stars
    • The Dutch House
    • The Secrets We Kept
    • Where the Light Enters
    • Cilka's Journey (The Tattooist of Auschwitz, #2)
    • The Golden Hour
    • This Tender Land
    • Nothing Ventured
    • The Testaments (The Handmaid's Tale, #2)
    • Akin
    • The Summer Country
    • The Family Upstairs
    • A Tapestry of Treason
    • A Better Man (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #15)
    • Anna of Kleve: The Princess in the Portrait (Six Tudor Queens, #4)
    • The Winemaker's Wife
    See similar books…
    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 ...more

    Other books in the series

    The Fairmile (2 books)
    • Dark Tides: A Novel (The Fairmile Series Book 2)
    “merrymaking” 0 likes
    “She stood silent among the quiet sounds of the night, and certainty came to her.” 0 likes
    More quotes…