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The Lady's Slipper

Average Rating 3.5
( 6 )
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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 15, 2013

    I could not put this book down.  I have already ordered The Guil

    I could not put this book down.  I have already ordered The Guilded Lily and hope Miss Swift's new novel, A Divided Inheritance, will be available in the US soon!

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  • Posted February 6, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    Mystery/Romance/Historical fiction

    The Lady's Slipper is a gripping read about 17th century England during the reign (post-exile) of Charles II. This time period is interesting on its own, and Swift makes use of the post-war situation beautifully. All of her main characters have been profoundly impacted by Cromwell's England and are either trying to recover from (financially and/or emotionally) or repent for it when they are faced with the rare orchid. I loved the way that Swift managed to keep the story somewhat focused on the Lady's Slipper and those around it, but still looked at the aftermath of the return of Charles II, the beginning of the Quaker movement in England, and life at differing socio-economic strata of society. I was completely sucked into their world and was unaware until I looked back after I finished reading how much research must have gone into the writing of this book.

    Book source: ARC provided by the publisher through Goodreads First Reads program.

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  • Posted November 25, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    A Lady's Slipper-Innocent Wildflower or Telltale Evidence?

    Author Deborah Swift took a summer walk near her home in the woods of the mountain district in England. 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 artist. After years in theater as a costume designer, author Deborah Swift has an uncanny ability to set a scene so the reader feels a curtain has just been opened on a new act of a play. She has a knack for attaching an attitude to a description. Water is "as soft as a horse's muzzle." A stew is "grayish meat and kale swimming in a greasy liquid that should have been gravy." Weary of reviews where the plot line is endlessly copied from other sources, this reviewer prefers to whet your appetite for some characters you will meet in the pages of this engrossing book. Herbalist, spy, skank maid, traitor, botanist, artist, soldier turned peacemaker, prisoner, perjurer , flibbertigibbet , murderer, cook, thief, arsonist and accused witch all join hands to populate this romantic historical fiction novel. Early 17th century England is reeling after its Civil War and struggling to return to a sense of normalcy with its new regent, Charles II. The Lady's Slipper takes a magnifying glass to the era's societal and religious changes. Its characters wear the turbulence of the times on their sleeves as their personal lives dip in and swirl, intermingling with unexpected turns in the plot. The novel's concept is unique. An orchid that bloomed for thousands of years is stolen, disturbing the natural order of things. Characters surprise us. Plot twists are accomplished in a sentence or two. The reading is challenging, but rewarding. Concentration is required to keep track of myriad plot lines and new characters, but The Lady's Slipper is worth your time and attention. The most touching scenes are those in the cell shared by Alice and Hannah. Alice's character growth is noteworthy. The writing is impressive and believable until a peculiarity in the plot toward the end disturbed the narrative's rhythm. The Lady's Slipper is published in a "Reading Group Gold" edition which enhanced my enjoyment of the book. Sneak an early peek at these end materials which include an author interview, historical background, recommended partner reading and readers guide. This extraordinary novel that would have earned five stars on my bookshelf had the ending not been so abrupt.

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  • Posted November 4, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    The Lady's Slipper is an entertaining seventeenth century historical thriller

    After his father's execution and a decade plus in exile, by 1660 King Charles II has regained the throne after being forced into exile. However, there remains religious divisiveness and ire from those who lost power with the restoration.

    In that environs Alice Ibbetson finds the rare Lady's Slipper orchid in a nearby woods owned by her neighbor Quaker Richard Wheeler. She steals the beauty with the intent of growing it elsewhere to preserve this impressive plant that she believes is near extinction. Wheeler wants to prevent what he believes is an abomination of God as the flower should only grow where the Lord placed it. Alice runs into other problems with a maid who tries to extort money from her and her business partner nasty Geoffrey Fisk who threatens murder if crossed.

    The Lady's Slipper is an entertaining seventeenth century historical thriller that uses chaos theory as a simple act leads to repercussions for several people including some several degrees of separation from the catalyst theft. The story line is at its best when it focuses on the theft and aftermath; when the key cast members ponderously ponder over the Civil War, Cromwell and Charles I and II, it slows down the pacing and diverts readers from the prime theme. Still fans of historical thrillers will enjoy Alice's adventures in wonderland.

    Harriet Klausner

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 28, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 24, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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