The Good Wife written by Eleanor Porter, publisher Boldwood Books, is available NOW in ebook, kindleunlimited, audiobook and paperback format.
Where will her loyalty lead her?
Once accused of witchcraft Martha Spicer is now free from the shadow of the gallows and lives a safe and happy life with her husband, Jacob. But when Jacob heads north to accompany his master, he warns Martha to keep her healing gifts a secret, to keep herself safe, to be a good wife.
Martha loves Jacob but without him there to protect her, she soon comes under the suspicious eye of the wicked Steward Boult, who’s heard of her talent and forces her to attend to him. If she refuses, he promises to destroy the good life she has built for herself with Jacob.
Desperate and alone, Martha faces a terrible decision: stay and be beholden to Boult or journey north to find Jacob who is reported to have been killed.. The road ahead is filled with danger, but also the promise of a brighter future. And where her gifts once threatened to be her downfall, might they now be the very thing that sets Martha free…?
The brilliant follow-up to Eleanor Porter’s first novel of love, betrayal, superstition and fear in Elizabethan England. A story of female courage, ingenuity and determination , this is perfect for fans of Tracy Chevalier.
Purchase Link – https://buff.ly/3jveaHL
I am so pleased to be involved in the blogtour celebrating the launch of Eleanor Porter’s latest historical novel: The Good Wife. I have the pleasure of sharing an extract from the novel.
Rain set in before nightfall. A cold thick rain that pressed out light and hope. I knelt by my bed and prayed they had found good lodgings and kindness. Even as I did so, I half expected the light touch of his fingers on my neck, his presence behind me. Such foolishness, it was only two months. Nevertheless, I lay awake a long time, long after the cottages were quiet and there was only the odd owl, the rain on the thatch and the drip where it leaked. It was getting worse, the leak. The ridge needed renewing. They had promised it when we arrived. ‘Not a bad cottage Jacob Spicer,’ they’d said, ‘and the Steward’s man has promised you a new coating of thatch before winter.’ We’d scarcely cared at first, the life here was so much more than we’d dared hope for, but as that winter passed, and the next, we’d grown tired of patching the holes. Last November a storm had threatened to blow half the roof away; we’d had to rope it down, with the gale in our faces. If we were to have another wild night I could not attempt that on my own. Mould spread over our end wall like breath on glass, however often I scrubbed and limed it. If I could be of service to the Steward, perhaps Jacob would come home to a new roof.
I must have fallen asleep at last, for when I woke the birds were loud and the rain had stopped. I opened the door to sunshine, and to Sally Robbins, my neighbour two doors down. Silly Sally we called her, she was always wittering to fill the empty spaces in her head, or else worrying after things she could not help, as though it were only her fretting stopped the sun from falling down. There was no harm in her, for all that; when her sister had died she had taken the children in, though there was scarce room to stand. It had been the making of her, for it gave her a whole houseful who would worry her forever. She was forever clasping the children to her big turnip breasts and weeping at their faults and falls and they loved her for it and strained to get away.
I smiled. It felt good to have another’s voice in the house and if I couldn’t have Jacob, hers would do, for it lined the emptiness without my having to make much in the way of response.
‘Well I didn’t see you all afternoon and I said to my Michael, that poor girl – I know you are a grown woman Martha, but you are a girl to me ever since I saw you arrive thinner than a reed in winter – so I said to myself that girl has gone to be alone to weep. And I expect you didn’t get a wink of sleep did you, all night long?’
I smiled to think I was near as feeble as she thought me. ‘I slept quite well Sally, thank you, although the rain was coming through all night.’
‘Yes, you look pale as death itself, poor thing. It’s a terrible thing to be lovesick. And you two like pretty doves, if a dove could be as dark as you are dear – if I’m honest you are more brown like mistress blackbird and you have a lovely voice like her too, I’ve heard you singing. And Jacob your ouzel, but golden. Michael said if you think she’s lonely you could send the baby round to her, he’d keep her busy enough!’
‘I’d be happy, Sally— ‘
‘—And make you pine the more! Well, maybe an hour or two of an evening, I have that much to do I barely eat some nights and the poor babe so sick with the kinkcough he whoops all night. But don’t you worry, you’ll have some of your own before long, there’s nothing like a bit of yearning to quicken you up when he comes home – perhaps if Michael had gone away a bit more we’d have had our own. But see, we’ve plenty.’
‘You have, Sally, they’re doing well.’
‘Are they, do you think so, you don’t think Jack has taken to stooping? They are working him too hard in the yards and now with Jacob gone – he’ll miss him near as much as you will, always a kind word, Jacob, like a brother he’s been—’
‘—Sally,’ I said, for my patience was wearing a little, ‘Roger Boult, the Steward, accosted me yesterday as I was gathering herbs. He wants me to attend to him, I think it must be a sickness of his own, or someone else in the household. Do you know of anything?’
Sally pursed her lips together. ‘I won’t hear a word against Sir Thomas, he’s the best master that ever lived…’
Author Bio –
Eleanor Porter has lectured at Universities in England and Hong Kong and her poetry and short fiction has been published in magazines. The Wheelwright’s Daughter was her first novel.
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