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Publisher's Summary

Number-one New York Times best-selling author of Tidelands - the “searing portrait of a woman that resonates across the ages” (People) - returns with an evocative historical novel tracking the rise of the Tidelands family in London, Venice, and New England.

Midsummer Eve, 1670. Two unexpected visitors arrive at a shabby warehouse on the south side of the River Thames. The first is a wealthy nobleman seeking the lover he deserted 21 years earlier. Now, James Avery has everything to offer: a fortune, a title, and the favor of the newly restored King Charles II. He believes that the warehouse’s poor owner Alinor has the one thing he cannot buy - his son and heir.

The second visitor is a beautiful widow from Venice in deepest mourning. She claims Alinor as her mother-in-law and tells her of the death of Rob - Alinor’s son - drowned in the dark tides of the Venice lagoon.

Meanwhile, Alinor’s brother Ned, in faraway New England, is making a life for himself between in the narrowing space between the jarring worlds of the English newcomers and the American Indians as they move towards inevitable war. Alinor writes to him that she knows—without doubt - that her son is alive and the widow is an imposter. But how can she prove it?

Set in the poverty and glamour of Restoration London, in the golden streets of Venice, and on the tensely contested frontier of early America, this is a novel of greed and desire: for love, for wealth, for a child, and for home.

©2020 Levon Publishing, Ltd. All rights reserved. (P)2020 Simon & Schuster, Inc. All rights reserved.

Critic Reviews

"Louise Brealey's performance is just one good reason to listen to the second in Philippa Gregory's Fairmile series. Gregory's unparalleled storytelling is another. Alinor's health never recovered after being 'swum' as a witch in the tidelands in 1648. It's now 1670. Alinor's close-knit family members live peaceful, if hardworking, lives in London. Their quiet is disrupted by two unwelcome visitors: Sir James, who abandoned pregnant Alinor 21 years earlier, and Livia, the devious alleged widow of Alinor's son. Brealey's delivery is subtle and nuanced or over-the-top, as needed. She is especially credible portraying Alinor's brother, Ned, in America. Her depictions of white settlers and natives are believable, making clear the rising animosities between them and chilling listeners with their struggles during the harsh New England winter." (Winner of an AudioFile Earphones Award, AudioFile Magazine)

What listeners say about Dark Tides

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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Good Story

I believe I have read every book Philippa Gregory has written, so I consider myself very knowledgeable about her writing, although, certainly not an expert. If you love her stories, you will no doubt enjoy Dark Tides, as I did. That said, I must say I was very generous in giving this one four stars. It was entertaining, and held my interest, but it cannot be compared to Gregory’s earlier work. Since she no longer continues in the vein of her Henry VIII novels, captivating readers in court dramas and intrigue, I haven’t found her talents quite as awe inspiring. The Other Boleyn Girl, The Boleyn Inheritance, etc., transported me to a different world. At times, it was difficult to come back to reality after spending time in the court of the Tutors. More recently, I find her stories are good, just not worthy of five star ratings.
As for the narration, I have never listened to Louise Brealey before, and will say she did nice job with this novel, though no one could ever replace Bianca Amato as Gregory’s go-to narrator. Overall, I am glad I chose this book, but look forward to more Philippa Gregory novels that can take me back to that fantasyland that is the Tudor court.

8 people found this helpful

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Perfect Sequel

I have never read a Philippa Gregory book that I didn’t enjoy, but the narration of Louise Brealey makes the story on immersive experience. Each character has a unique voice which is simple to distinguish. If you’re a fan of historical fiction, don’t hesitate to pick this up. (Make sure you read the first book, though, or you’ll miss out on the backstory.) The ending of this book sets the stage perfectly for another story to follow! I can’t wait to see what comes next.

5 people found this helpful

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Execeklent story, but...

The ending felt unfinished. I hope that there is another sequel to this story. The story must continue.

4 people found this helpful

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Very good story!

It is refreshing to read a Philippe Gregory book that is not about Henry the VIII. I enjoyed the time period and the twists and turns!

2 people found this helpful

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Exceptional blend of fiction and fact

As this remarkable novel ends you will feel the sun setting on your back as it does for the character Ned, who is setting out on a journey▪︎▪︎again. And you'll carry with you questions about how we become the people we are, at once bonded to history and its unbreakable hold on our lives and yet independent of it. That is, for those who have courage.

2 people found this helpful

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Deception and Intrigue

Absolutely loved this book. Set in 1670, two stories-- one in London, one in Hadley New England--one tells the story of a duplicitous villainess and the other a man torn by his values. The characters are well developed but it's the plot of deception and intrigue set against family tragedies that drives the story. The Hadley story is interesting and thought provoking but separate from the main intrigue that fills the London story. The ending has an unexpected twist that is unsettling although in its own way satisfying. Another masterful tale by Phillipa Gregory.

2 people found this helpful

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Another Amazing Story...

I just love Philippe Gregorys books. She’s done it again I have just finished this book and had a hard time putting it away. Although I would have loved it if the ending was different. I would say why but I don’t want to give it away. I’m hoping there’s going to be another book to this serious.

1 person found this helpful

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Loved story, cut Ned

This story was great, but could have been 3 hours shorter without the Ned piece. Suggest you just skip through every Ned chapter. Has nothing to do with the excellent main story. Also, with the main story would have gone one another chapter.

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awful

I am usually a big fan of Philippa Gregory books. this one however was awful! the bad guys win the good guys suffer the ending showed nothing but despair for the good people. I kept expecting the story to wind up with a happier result. really really disappointed. I wasted hours of drive time listening to a book with a very very upsetting ending

1 person found this helpful

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Simply awful

I can't even finish this...it's terrible. I'm sad because I really liked the first book.

1 person found this helpful