Image of The Lady's Slipper: A Novel (Reading Group Gold)


Image of The Lady's Slipper: A Novel (Reading Group Gold)

Swift’s eye for detail and language augment this atypical debut. The novel delivers a masterful social commentary on 17th-century English politics and the beginnings of the Quaker movement unfolding around a rare bloom. Compelling and intriguing, this is a well-told story full of wonderful prose and surprising events. It’s a vivid addition to the genre.

Far from London where Charles II is on the throne, but where political upheaval hides under the surface, artist Alice Ibbetson becomes obsessed with the rare orchid known as the Lady’s Slipper. She steals the flower from newly converted Quaker soldier Richard Wheeler. Wheeler is determined to reclaim the flower. He is not the only one searching for the plant. Alice’s patron and Wheeler’s commanding officer Sir Geoffrey Fisk believes that the bloom is valuable enough to boost his finances. Believing the Quakers and Richard are planning a rebellion, Fisk sends his son to investigate. Suddenly Alice is accused of murder and imprisoned with Wheeler. Alice and Richard plan an escape, unaware of the political storm they are entering. (ST. MARTIN’S GRIFFIN, Dec., 400 pp., $14.99)
Reviewed by: 
Kathe Robin