The Favored Child by Phillipa Gregory
This eighteenth century novel is set on the bankrupt estate of Wideacre. Here, the Lacey family is hated by the village of Acre, where families have been left to starve ever since the murder of the squire, Beatrice Lacey. This is where Julie has spent her entire life with her mother and her cousin Richard, who is a year younger than her. Julie has been in love with him as long as she can remember and knows one day that they will marry and become joint heirs to the Wideacre estate.
Julie becomes increasingly in touch with the estate and slowly wins over the people of Acre. When Richard’s father, John, finally returns home from India as a rich man, Julie’s dream of restoring Wideacre to its glory days, may finally come true. Slowly Julie begins to notice that she is more than in touch with the land, but may have the Lacey magic that led Aunt Beatrice to be known as a witch. Can Julie be the Favored Child that is said to be Beatrice’s true heir who will restore Wideacre’s wealth? Or will she have to give up the land she loves to please her family?
Book two in a series of three, this magical, sensual, and beautifully written novel is heart wrenching and hard to put down. If you are into nature, romance, and a little magic, this is the book for you.
Rhea B.-S., Class of 2010
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