A Divided Inheritance
by Deborah Swift
A family divided by fortune. A country divided by faith. London 1609...
Elspet Leviston’s greatest ambition is to continue the success of her father Nathaniel’s lace business. But her dreams are thrown into turmoil with the arrival of her mysterious cousin Zachary Deane – who has his own designs on Leviston’s Lace.
Zachary is a dedicated swordsman with a secret past that seems to invite trouble. So Nathaniel sends him on a Grand Tour, away from the distractions of Jacobean London. Elspet believes herself to be free of her hot-headed relative but when Nathaniel dies her fortunes change dramatically. She is forced to leave her beloved home and go in search of Zachary - determined to claim back from him the inheritance that is rightfully hers.
Under the searing Spanish sun, Elspet and Zachary become locked in a battle of wills. But these are dangerous times and they are soon embroiled in the roar and sweep of something far more threatening, sending them both on an unexpected journey of discovery which finally unlocks the true meaning of family.
A Divided Inheritance is a breathtaking adventure set in London just after the Gunpowder Plot and in the bustling courtyards of Golden Age Seville.
Published by: PAN Books/Macmillan
Genre: Historical Fiction
Author: Deborah Swift
About the Author:
Deborah Swift used to work in the theatre and at the BBC as a set and costume designer, before studying for an MA in Creative Writing in 2007. She lives in a beautiful area of Lancashire near the Lake District National Park. She is the author of The Lady’s Slipper and is a member of the Historical Writers Association, the Historical Novel Society, and the Romantic Novelists Association.
For more information, please visit Deborah's website. You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter.
This is my first encounter with Deborah Swift’s work, which is nice for me as a reader, no expectations one-way or the other. A Divided Inheritance was a breath of fresh air dealing with the everyday people and not just those touched by royalty. Swift begins her novel in 1609 England and introduces us to Elspet who lives and works with her father in his successful lace business. Elspet reveals in her time with her father and she relishes being included in his discussions of business and trade. Elspet dreams of running the lace business herself in time and her dreams and aspirations for the future seem incomplete without the business as part of her life. In Elspet Swift crafts a wonderfully human character. She is full of emotion, pride and stubbornness, but Elspet remains approachable because Elspet is simply a young woman denied a long held dream.
Never is this more apparent than when her father arrives home with Zachary. A cousin who very quickly begins to monopolize her father’s time and who it seems is the heir apparent for the lace business. Zachary however is not up to the task at present and he is sent on a “Grand Tour” of sorts to mature. Elspet hopes that life will soon return to normal, but her father suddenly passes away and leaves behind a will that shocks his only daughter to her soul taking away all of her dreams for herself and the business and resigning her to a life chasing after that which she believes is rightfully hers.
Deborah Swift gives her reader an intricately woven story in a rich and accurate historical setting. She fills her narrative with rich multi layered characters that are timeless in their appeal and the problems and issues they encounter instantly relatable to the modern reader. A Divided Inheritance has an air of timelessness that should appeal to all readers. Needless to say I would recommend A Divided Inheritance without hesitation.