A spellbinding historical novel of beauty and greed and surprising redemption
England, 1660. Ella Appleby believes she is destined for better things than slaving as a housemaid and dodging the blows of her drunken father. When her employer dies suddenly, she seizes her chance--taking his valuables and fleeing the countryside with her sister for the golden prospects of London. But London may not be the promised land she expects. Work is hard to find, until Ella takes up with a dashing and dubious gentleman with ties to the London underworld. Meanwhile, her old employer's twin brother is in hot pursuit of the sisters.
Set in a London of atmospheric coffee houses, gilded mansions, and shady pawnshops hidden from rich men's view, Deborah Swift's The Gilded Lily is a dazzling novel of historical adventure.
“Deborah Swift's THE GILDED LILY is a heart-rending story of two sisters on the run, searching for a better life. Beautifully written and meticulously researched, the novel drew me straight into the teeming streets of Restoration London. An addictive, page-turning read.” —Mary Sharratt, author of The Vanishing Point and The Daughters of Witching Hill
“THE GILDED LILY is a beautifully-written blend of fast pace and atmospheric historical detail. The plot fairly romps along, but the intense evocation of the period never falters.” —Gabrielle Kimm, author of His Last Duchess and The Courtesan's Lover
“The author's previous career as a set and costume designer is evident from the richly detailed descriptions, while the superbly written dialogue makes the characters absolutely real. Deborah Swift's assured and carefully researched writing makes THE GILDED LILY an unputdownable read and I eagerly anticipate her next novel.” —Charlotte Betts, award-winning author of The Apothecary's Daughter
“Swift, who understands the power of details, shows a side of London that is rarely seen in historical fiction. As the title suggests, the novel is layered with themes: greed, deception, the treatment of women, and good vs. evil. But always, this compelling and often heartbreaking story speaks to the bond shared between sisters.” —Ann Weisgarber, author of The Personal History of Rachel Du Pree and winner of the Langum Prize for historical fiction
“Deborah Swift's writing style, combined with her knowledge of mid 17th Century life is masterful in her portrayal of a crueler and less tolerant time, where suspicion is enough to condemn the innocent and women were regarded as the cradle of all evils.” —Historical Novel Review on The Lady's Slipper
“The Lady's Slipper has all the characteristics of well-received historical romance. Recommended for fans of Philippa Gregory and Rose Tremain, as well as students of the English Civil War.” —Library Journal on The Lady's Slipper