The Butcher’s Daughter Victoria Glendinning

51RgIlZEuEL._AC_US218_Pub:  Gerald Duckworth & Co Ltd

My name is Agnes Peppin and I am a stranger here…In this stirring, critically acclaimed and affecting novel, award-winning author Victoria Glendinning intricately depicts the lives of women during the Tudor era. The Butcher’s Daughter is the atmospheric story of a young woman’s struggle to define herself in a world of uncertainty, intrigue, and danger.

It is 1535 and Agnes Peppin, daughter of a West-country butcher, leaves her family home in disgrace to live out the rest of her life cloistered behind the walls of the Shaftesbury Abbey. Blessed with a sharp mind, she quickly rises through the ranks of the sisterhood to become the Abbess’s assistant. While Agnes grapples with the complex rules and hierarchies of her new world, King Henry VIII has proclaimed himself Head of the Church of England. Religious houses are being formally subjugated, monasteries dissolved, and the great Abbey is no exception to the purge.

With her place of refuge razed and the sisterhood disbanded, she is free at last to be the master of her own fate. But freedom comes at a price as Agnes descends into a world she knows little about, using her wits and testing her moral convictions against her need to survive by any means necessary..


What an amazing novel.

Agnes Peppin is a fabulous character and she really is woman with a heart and lots of personality.

A mix of Historical fact and brilliant fiction The Butchers Daughter is set in 1535 and the reign of King Henry VIII.

Agnes is a woman who has shamed her family, she enters into the care of the nuns and her story, her life and most of all her musings are just spectacular to read about. I loved getting to know her.

This is action packed and pacy and at times quite sad.  The Reformation means the dissolution of the monasteries and the ladies face unsurety.  I smiled in places and was shocked by some of the actions of those who make the decisions. I especially loved the ‘Go boil your head’ history and while these all added flavour to what is a brilliant read, what makes this book so good is the writing. It is sublime and a complete joy to read.

I would highly recommend this book, even if you are not a fan of Historical fiction, this is book with many facets. I was hooked and completed it in a morning as I just could not put it down.

It is truly amazing and one of the best reads this year so far.




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