Blurb on the Back: When young Mary Howard arrives at the grand court of King Henry VIII to attend his mistress, Anne Boleyn, she is overjoyed. Mary is certain Anne will one day become Queen. But Mary has witnessed the King’s fickle nature before and knows how quickly he can turn on those he claims to love…
Despite all of Mary’s efforts to please him, she soon becomes a victim of the Kin’s wrath. Not until she becomes betrothed to Harry Fitzroy, the Duke of Richmond and illegitimate son to the King, does Mary finds (sic) the love and approval she’s been seeking.
But when Mary believes she is finally free, the tides turn. She has uncovered an intricate web of secrets within the palace walls, secrets that she must guard with her life….
My thoughts: When it comes to Henry VIII and his 6 wives, I absolutely love listening and reading to what went on. I find the whole history so fascinating and intriguing. Naturally, the politics regarding what was going on is all very interesting, but I’m more intrigued about the women of the era and what they were doing/going through. I can’t help but be drawn to their stories. This book takes it to a whole other level for me because usually I read stories or watch movies that are very heavily based on the perspective of the King or alternatively one of his wives; this books takes the perspective of Mary Douglas who, although very much apart of the dealings, is still ‘outside’ enough to comment on what is going on and happening.
I don’t know my history accurately enough to comment on the accuracy of the book but the basic elements are there. I was reading along and I took note of all the things I know from just reading the history in general. Every time a milestone was written in the book, I would think to myself “oh this is when so and so comes along” or “well, I know what’s going to happen to her!” and I liked that. I liked the familiarity of the story.
I love the perspective; listening to Mary recount the events makes it all the more interesting. I feel sorry for her and what she went through and whether or not it is historically accurate becomes irrelevant. It’s a story based on what happened, it doesn’t claim to be a true historical biography; but nevertheless it places emphasis on the difficulties endured in the era especially for women.
For the most part, I think the book possesses a lot of girly-intrigue. Naturally the intrigue is very old fashioned and being set so long ago, it seems bizarre and difficult to relate with but it allows the reader to get lost in a different world where people were ruled by social and cultural expectations; where people had very strict beliefs and were expected to maintain themselves in a certain manner.
It was a matter of getting lost in history. I don’t mind if it was accurate or not, it’s just interesting getting lost in a world that could have potentially (and more than likely) existed.
This book is one of the 3 books I have selected to read for the month of October. I finished this book in roughly 3 days. I have 2 more books to go and then I have to select a 4th book for the final week of October!