Heather's Reviews > Lady of the English

Lady of the English by Elizabeth Chadwick
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's review
Sep 22, 11

bookshelves: 12th-c, arc, england, henry-ii, historical-fiction, stephen-and-matilda, henry-i
Read from September 01 to 08, 2011 — I own a copy

Lady of the English might be more aptly named Ladies of the English as this story is just as much about the widowed queen Adeliza as it is about the rightful queen Matilda. We are privy to their respective worlds as Matilda struggles to fight for that which should be hers by right. We see Adeliza struggle between how she wants to help Matilda and how she must do as her husband wants. Matilda must might against her cousin Stephen and his supporters to take back England for her and her heirs.

A shocker for me about this book by Elizabeth Chadwick is that it didn’t immediately suck me right into the lives of the characters. I felt that the beginning of the novel was more slow and wading – you didn’t just jump right in. As the novel progressed I began to connect with Adeliza and very much enjoyed her story. Toward the end I even cried as her story came to a close – Chadwick was at her best in pulling the heartstrings and manipulating the reader’s emotions. But, while I liked Adeliza, I just could not get into Matilda. I felt like she was cold and distant to the reader – and even though that was sort of how she presented herself to the world, I just couldn’t connect with her enough to care if she won back her crown or not. I kept looking forward to the next Adeliza passage.

This was my first book by this author that wasn’t in some way related to the Bigod or Marshall families – and I didn’t love it quite as much as those.

I have to say that Chadwick excels in the details. Every moment in the world felt real, as if you were breathing in the same air as the characters. You get it all – sights, sounds, tastes, smells. The minor or sideline characters were very well developed and I came to care for many of them as well. You really get to see the young Henry II and can believe how he grew up to become the great king who would eventually marry Eleanor of Aquitaine.

So overall this book was sort of hit and miss for me. Not my favorite Chadwick read by a long shot, but still a very good book overall.

This book was received for review from the publisher - I was not compensated for my opinions and the above is my honest review.
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08/29/2011 page 27
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