**spoiler alert** When I started reading this book, The Queen's Mistake, I was not sure if I was going to like it or not. I enjoy the Tudor era but my...more**spoiler alert** When I started reading this book, The Queen's Mistake, I was not sure if I was going to like it or not. I enjoy the Tudor era but my reading has been mostly focused on Anne Boleyn and Catherine of Aragon. I had not read many books about the other wives of Henry VIII. But as I was reading I found that even though this was another wife that " lost her head" I really sympathized with her. As with her cousin Anne, her future was pretty much all planned out for her by her greedy uncle Thomas Howard, Duke of Norfolk for his political aspirations. She also had a grandmother Agnes Howard, the Dowager Duchess, who aspired to the same goals as Thomas, that of seeing that there was another Howard on the throne and . Catherine is sent to be a lady-in-waiting to the court of Queen Anne of Cleves . In the meantime Henry is trying to get his marriage annulled due to the fact that their marriage was never consummated and he could not stand being married to her. Queen Anne of Cleves is portrayed as a very pleasant woman who has her language barrier and her looks going against her as far as the King is concerned.
I think Catherine's biggest downfall was the fact that she was too free with her 'charms' with the men in the town she came from and she did not realize that her 'little lie" would be found out. She was not a virgin when she came to the marriage bed with Henry and he was too 'in love" to notice this little lie. I really think that she didn't really realize until too late that her past was coming back to haunt her marriage to Henry and she was torn between doing the right thing, according to her uncle and grandmother or go with her heart and the love she has for another man , Thomas Culpepper, who was a trusted person in Henry's mind.
Catherine did what was expected of her and tried to make the marriage work and she stayed faithful to Henry and also suffered a couple of miscarriages. Then when she tried to save an old woman in the tower and argued with Henry about this he had the woman put to death anyway.This showed her what kind of a man Henry really was.
The plot to discredit Catherine came from a vindictive woman, Mary Lassells one of her maids, who was actually forced on Catherine by her grandmother. Mary was a vindictive, jealous,woman who would do anything, along with her brother, to further her own ambitions and she had knowledge of Catherine's past indescretions and will use it against Catherine. Mary also became real close to Francis Dereham who claimed that he and Catherine were still trothplighted and he used that to further his ambitions and Henry used this detail to have his marriage to Catherine annuled.
Even though I knew what the outcome was going to be, I really liked Catherine and hoped all would be well in the end, that she could be with the love of her life, but that would have been a happy ending but it appears that there were no happy endings for Henry or anyone associated with him . Catherine really had no choice but agree to marry Henry, a bloated, ageing king desperate to recapture his youth and avoid life's inevitable decay and also to father a son for the throne. I think that in the short marriage that Catherine really came to care for Henry and genuinely wanted to make him happy.
I did have trouble trying to figure out Jane Boleyns role in this whole thing. I got the impression at first that she did not like Catherine, but turns out that she became Catherine's confidant and assisted in her liason's with Thomas. I am sure that Jane thought that befriending Catherine would obsolve her in her participation in the downfall of her husband George and of Anne with her accusations that were untrue.
I am not a historian, so I won't presume to say that this novel was based on facts as it is just that, a novel, a work of fiction. I felt that this story was well written and I enjoyed it very much and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys the Tudor era...I look forward to reading more of Diane Haegers books.
Whispers in the Sand by Barbara Erskine was first released in 2000 to rave reviews. When I saw that Sourcebooks was offering a review copy, I was so e...more
Whispers in the Sand by Barbara Erskine was first released in 2000 to rave reviews. When I saw that Sourcebooks was offering a review copy, I was so excited. Why?? Barbara Erskine is my favorite author and has been since I read Lady of Hay. In fact, I remember that I had to order the book online with my first computer. I had to order it from the UK and when I did receive it I was thrilled. It took me a few years to read it...not because it was a bad book but because I wanted to savor it and didn't want it to end. I think I even took it along on my first trip to Ireland. Finish it I did and I think it was also one of my first reviews on my blog. I am not a reader who will reread a book but Barbara's books I definitely will.
That said, chapter one opens with this paragraph:
" May there be nothing to resist me at my judgement; may there be no opposition to me; may there be no parting of thee from me in the presence of him that keepeth the scales."
" It is thirteen hundred years before the birth of Christ".....
The chapters of the story are told in alternating voices; Anna Fox, as she is on her cruise in Egypt as a vacation away from the stress of her life, of Louisa, Anna's great-grandmother who took a similar cruise in the Victorian era and lastly the ghosts of the dead priests. All these stories combine to tell a powerful spooky story of love, hate, evil, curse's on ancient relics and secrets of a diary. The way that the author told the story had me immersed from the first page and I could not wait to pick it up again, even staying up late to finish it. The research is impeccable and the writing is easy to read, I felt like I was right there with Anna as she discovers more of her great-grandmother's story. I give this book 5 stars and I highly recommend it for fans of historical fiction and specifically the Egyptian era. You will not be disappointed!(less)