The Favored Child
By Philippa Gregory
Reading Group Discussion Guide INTRODUCTION
The Wideacre estate is bankrupt. The villagers are living in poverty and Wideacre Hall is a smoke-blackened ruin. But, in the Dower House, two children are being raised in protected innocence.
Equal claimants to the estate, rivals for the love of the village, they are tied by a secret childhood betrothal but forbidden to marry. Only one can be the favored child. Only one can inherit the magical understanding between the land and the Lacey family that can make the Sussex village grow green again. Only one can be Beatrice Lacey's true heir.
Sensual, gripping, sometimes mystical, The Favored Child
sweeps the reader irresistibly into the eighteenth century, a revolutionary period in English history. This rich and dramatic novel continues the saga of the Lacey family begun in Philippa Gregory's bestselling and enduringly popular Wideacre
. DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
1. How would you describe Julia Lacey's feelings toward her cousin, Richard, and his toward her? How does the fact that they are -- in fact -- siblings color your impressions of their childhood alliances and squabbles?
2. Why do Richard's failures at equestrian pursuits, music, and his studies intensify his desire to become the squire of Wideacre? What explains his penchant for failure, and how does this tendency affect his reputation among the villagers o