The #1 New York Times bestselling author and “one
of the great storytellers of our time” (SanFrancisco 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 parliament. The
struggle reaches every corner of the kingdom, even the
remote tidelands —the marshy landscape of the south coast.
Alinor, a descendant of wisewomen, trapped in poverty and
superstition, waits in the graveyard under the full moon for
a ghost who will declare her free from her abusive husband.
Instead, she meets James, a young man on the run, and shows
him the secret ways across the treacherous marsh, not
knowing that she is leading disaster into the heart of her life.
Suspected of possessing dark secrets in superstitious times,
Alinor’s ambition and determination mark her out from her
neighbors. This is the time of witch mania, and Alinor, a
woman without a husband, skilled with herbs, suddenly
enriched, arouses envy in her rivals and fear among the
villagers, who are ready to take lethal action into their