Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.
In this historical novel, Darwin (The Mathematics of Love) looks at the 15th century War of the Roses through the Woodville siblings, Anthony and Elizabeth (wife to Sir John Gray and later Edward IV). Trading off narrative duties, their stories alternate with that of a (fictional) present-day historian, Una Pryor, who is studying the two while visiting the U.K. to clear up some family business. Reuniting with the family estate's handyman, her unrequited love Mark Fisher, Una follows the path Anthony took trying to restore his nephew Ned, the rightful king of England. Historical sections, filled with allusion and mythology, make breathtaking drama for those in the know, but anyone without a background in the War of the Roses will be lost (and Darwin's quicksand pacing doesn't help). Court intrigue dominates the action, but Darwin's at her most powerful exploring Anthony's faith or Elizabeth's understanding of women, love and marriage in her time. Though the modern-day framing story isn't compelling enough to hold its own, a satisfying end ties the threads together nicely. (June)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
“Powerful and utterly convincing.” (Daily Mail (London) on A SECRET ALCHEMY)
“There are many twists and turns in this tale, some of them real, some of them not; together they add up to a spellbinding whole.” (London Times on A SECRET ALCHEMY)
“Emma Darwin follows up on the great success of her debut novel The Mathematics of Love with this engaging work of historical fiction…This is a work of great atmosphere and a story well told. (The Sunday Mail (Australia) on A SECRET ALCHEMY)
“A Secret Alchemy was ... absorbing, interesting, well-written, and utterly enjoyable.” (www.fyreflybooks.wordpress.com)
The strength of this book is the love story between Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville. Darwin writes one of the most beautiful descriptions of married love that I have ever read. Read morePublished on November 29, 2009 by Allison M. Davis
Thanks to both my primary and secondary school teachers, The War of the Roses was one of the more inscrutable periods of European history. Read morePublished on September 5, 2009 by 114rider
A twin narrative encircles this intense drama centering on Una Pryor, a historian who travels from Sydney to London to make peace with her past, and that of siblings Antony and... Read morePublished on July 20, 2009 by Walter Hypes
Una Pryor, a historian whose scholarly life revolves around books, returns to England to sell her house and help her cousins make the final decision about the fate of the Chantry,... Read morePublished on July 10, 2009 by S. McGee