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The Miracle at St. Bruno's

(Daughters of England #1)

3.77  ·  Rating details ·  1,441 ratings  ·  96 reviews
The first book in Philippa Carr’s celebrated Daughters of Englandseries is at once a love story, a mystery, and an epic historical saga set during the tumultuous reign of Henry VIII

Damask Farland, named after a rose, is captivated by the mysterious orphan Bruno. Discovered upon the abbey altar on Christmas morning, then raised by monks, Bruno becomes the great man whom Dam
Kindle Edition, 384 pages
Published February 19th 2013 by Open Road (first published January 1st 1974)
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Oct 07, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: younger readers
The narrator for this book is Damask Farland, daughter of a prosperous attorney during the reign of Henry VIII. Damask has grown up around the legend of the Miracle of St. Bruno's abbey, that of a lost child found in a crib on Christmas Eve. The child was named Bruno after the abbey and brought prosperity and wealth to the abbey - that is until King Henry starts hankering for Anne Boleyn. During the destruction of the abbey Bruno's real parentage is revealed, and since it's one he can't accept h ...more
And so although Queen Mary had placed herself firmly on the throne and strong men and factions surrounded her with the purpose and intention of keeping her there, there were uneasy moments. And the thoughts and hopes of many men and women were turned to the daughter of Anne Boleyn.
Feb 27, 2013 rated it liked it
In The Miracle at St Bruno’s, which is set during the turbulent reign of Henry VIII, Damask Farland is the cosseted daughter, protected and cherished by her parents. She grows up in a loving environment, slightly removed from the machinations of court life. Running alongside the story of domestic life in the mid-1500’s, is the story of Bruno, an abandoned child brought up in the cloistered environs of St Bruno’s Abbey, whose interwoven history will have repercussions, not just on those who live ...more
Jun 07, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars. Another good book by one of my favorite authors.
Feb 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This was a reread for me, and it was just as good the second time around. I loved how Carr weaved the story of her fictional people with the historical facts of the courts in Tudor England. I kept wondering how the book was 451 pages since I didn't remember a whole lot happening after a certain point. I flipped the page to 300 and boom it was finished. The remaining 151 pages were the second book in the series. Now I cannot wait to dive into the rest of the series! I inherited the actual books i ...more
Sep 01, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Light historical reads like this are my mind candy; I especially like to read them when I'm not feeling very well. It's easy to scorn books like this because they are predictable and fluffy, but reading lots of them can eventually contribute to a genuine interest in history. By reading books like this one, I got a decent grasp of English history from the conquest of 1066 through the beginning of the reign of King James I (and VI), something which is definitely not taught in the American schools ...more
Eileen Pucci
Apr 15, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013
Another book about the Tudor era. I can't get enough of ole' Henry the 8th. This one describes how the lives of ordinary people (not peasants) are affected by the changing political and religious tides of Henry, Mary and Elizabeth's reigns. When Henry is in power, everybody is in danger; when Mary is in power the protestants are in danger, etc., etc.

I would have given this four stars except for a quirky annoyance caused by reading the e-version of the book using the Overdrive app on my Nook. Thi
Linda Bridges
This book follows the story of Damask, a young woman born during the Tudor reign of Henry VIII. It details her life throughout Henry's rule as well as his son and daughter Mary. It packs a bunch of English history into a small amount of space and does it well without getting too bogged down in historical details. However, the characters seem wooden and one-dimensional. If the whole book had been like the last twenty pages (which moved a fairly fast clip and actually had some action to them) it ...more
Jul 02, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The version that I downloaded of this novella is titled The Daughters of England Book 1, and it contains The Miracle at St. Bruno's and part of Book Two, The Lion Triumphant. Or at least I think it was part of Book Two, because it ended quite abruptly.

The book tells a good story and keeps one's interest. It is set in the time of Henry VIII and chronicles two families who are deeply impacted by the religious struggles of the time. It would be a good beach or vacation read.
Feb 08, 2013 marked it as to-read
Although I devoured everything by Jean Plaidy and Victoria Holt that I could lay my hands on when I was in my teens, I didn't get so far with Philippa Carr. I don't know why - but now it seems this series is being reprinted, maybe it's time to give 'Carr' another try. ...more
Oct 05, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
First person narration of a very easily guessed plot. The heroine, Damask, had a too modern view of religious differences; not many in that era could think in such a "live and let live" way about doctrine. Carr creates a fictional family that almost mimics Thomas More's: the father and daughter are very close and she is almost like Margaret More Roper in classical knowledge--even visiting her father in the Tower of London like Margaret visited More. The change in one character from being such a ...more
Interesting enough story but FFS is the writing tedious and overly repetitive. Like, for example, if this review were written in the style of this author I would use this sentence to let you know that I found the writing tedious and overly repetitive. I have the next two books in the series but don't know if I should bother. Carr's style is definitely tedious and overly repetitive. ...more
Ginger Myrick
Feb 28, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Miracle at St. Bruno’s by Philippa Carr is the first novel in the Daughters of England series. It opens during the time of ‘the king’s secret matter’—King Henry VIII’s attempt to put away his first wife, Katherine of Aragon, to marry Anne Boleyn—and moves through the reigns of his successors, concluding shortly after the coronation of Elizabeth I. It is the coming of age story of Damask Farland, the daughter in a privileged household with mysterious ties to neighboring St. Bruno’s Abbey. The ...more
Dec 09, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who enjoys historical fiction
Recommended to Mary by: Library Book Sale
"I was born in the September of 1523, nine months after the monks had discovered the child in the crib on that Christmas morning. My birth was, my father used to say, another miracle: He was not young at the time being forty years of age ... My mother, whose great pleasure was tending her gardens, called me Damask, after the rose which Dr. Linacre, the King's physician, had brought into England that year."

So begins the story narrated by Damask Farland, the daughter of an affluent lawyer whose co
Jun 24, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: tudor-fiction
Jean Plaidy is responsible for my introduction to Tudor fiction. A long time ago someone suggested I read Queen of This Realm: The Tudor Queens and shortly after I started collecting Jean Plaidy books from various local used bookstores. I find Plaidy's works to be perfect for those times when I'm just looking for a quick read and they don't seem to play as fast and loose with history as other authors of Tudor fiction. I won't name said authors but anyone who knows me, knows exactly who I'm point ...more
Jul 23, 2013 rated it liked it
Picked up this book randomly during an ebook sale since it was a historical fiction set in one of my favorite time periods (Tudor/Henry 8th British Era) and it was an enjoyable, although not amazing, read.

The story takes place during Henry VIII's reign (The book spans from when Henry is still married to Katherine of Aragon, his first wife, all the way to Elizabeth ascending the throne) and follows a fictional character by the name of Damask, the daughter of a well off lawyer. Philippa Carr did a
Phil Syphe
I like the concept of setting this novel during the reigns of three Tudor monarchs, ending it at the start of a fourth, but somehow it doesn’t fulfil its potential. The main plot revolves around a group of people who are affected by the changes in England’s monarchy and how one person in charge of the country can cause prosperity or ruin to the people who serve him/her.

One problem I have with this tale is the amount of references to Anne Boleyn – in some cases the exact same reference is revived
Apr 16, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a historical fiction book that starts when King Henry VIII was ruler of England and goes through the subsequent Queens ending with Queen Elizabeth I.
It starts out with the "Miracle at St. Bruno's"and follows the life of one family, and the niece and nephew whose parents are killed and come to live with them, through the tumultuous times during the religious upheaval in England. The back and forth between Protestantism and Catholicism and the effect it has on the family and Abbey that is
Feb 26, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historic-fiction
I was gifted these books by my mother. They are masterful historic romance novels. They are 'go to' favorites that both my mother and I go to regularly. The character development is great, the life situations are true, and there isn't always the happy ending that you are rooting for. That would be the only slight negative for me. The books are so life like in their creation that the unhappy characters make you wish you could slap the 'bad guy' around a bit ;-)

As a Christian, some of the story th
A deep look at what life may have been like for those living under the reign of England's Henry VIII and his immediate successors. People live in moral fear of Henry's displeasure, and then of never being sure of the "right" religion or whether they have innocently said or done something that might possibly be construed as treason or heresy.

The writing is compelling and moving, giving us all the right parts of the story. Carr has instilled a real sense of fear and one believes the characters' s
Feb 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley, 2013
I have read fair share of books about Henry VIII and about his and his daughter era, and all of the books have been from the different point of view. Philippa Carr book The Miracle at St. Bruno’s presents new side to this dangerous and tragic time and it is a wonderful mixture about history and fiction.

The story about Damask Farland’s life is very enchanting. It presents its reader with very strong emotions – love, fear, hate, suspense, frustration, tenderness, trust and faith. The sneak peek in
Mar 10, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bookcrossing
I used to read Phillipa Carr in high schoool...curled up in the stacks at the school library during study hall. I'd check one book out to read at home, and then appoint another title as my in-school reading during study hall...marking my place at the end of class each day, putting the book back on the shelf and finding it again the next day.

this was a trip down memory lane- little bits of English history woven in and around a predictable plot. But it got me interested in history, enough to major
I think the plot for this book was very interesting. The prose was difficult to read and somewhat overdone but it was published a long time ago. This is a series making it inherently attractive to me and I will read the second,

Damask was a bit naive for her whole life. Her father was my favorite. Bruno is a tool.

Part two was more captivating and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I look forward to finding out what happens to Cat, Carlos, Roberto, and the rest when Jack Pennylyon comes back into the fold.
This dragged for me. The story is set during the Tudor reigns, starting near the time that Henry VIII marries Anne Boleyn and ending with the accession of Elizabeth I to the throne. However the main characters are not at court, and most of the references are second or third hand.

It was good for illustrating how the changes in the court impacted the country and what the discussions about the "true religion" really met.

The ebook version that I have also includes a large chunk of the sequel, but I
Dec 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
I liked the book. It is he first book in Carr's Daughters of England series. It is a love story, a mystery and an epic historical saga during the reign of King Henry VIII. The story was centered more on the people of England and how the cruel actions of the aristocracy affected their lives. As different factions reigned, it determined how the people had to live their lives and how they had to worship. The people never knew who they could trust. The second in the series continues on about the fam ...more
Jan 29, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Tudor-era historical fiction? Normally, that's my cup of tea. The Miracle at St. Bruno's, however, fell a bit flat for me.

I'm typically a fan of Jean Plaidy, but I did not recognize this book as being by her (under a different pen name) - the writing did not live up to what I've come to expect from her. This particular book had a rather bland main character, and the action was all very predictable. It wasn't bad... but it wasn't all that good, either. I'm not sure that I'll try another by Philip
Jun 05, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This highly entertaining historical novel is set during the tumultuous (and terrifying) reigns of Henry VIII and his daughter Queen Mary after him. People lived in constant fear of their heads being chopped off for disagreeing with the King over who was the rightful head of the Church (he or the Pope) or if you were one of his ever-changing wives, whether he was wanting a new wife. Queen Mary would burn you for a heretic if you weren't a Catholic. The book ends with Mary's death and the new era ...more
The first book in Philippa Carr's celebrated Daughters of Englandseries is at once a love story, a mystery, and an epic historical saga set during the tumultuous reign of Henry VIII Damask Farland, named after a rose, is captivated by the mysterious orphan Bruno. Discovered upon the abbey altar on Christmas morning, then raised by monks, Bruno becomes the great man whom Damask grows to love—only to be shattered by his cruel betrayal. ...more
Carolynn (Molly.Groot) Evans
I started this series- wrongly with what is actually #6, and went back to read this one eventually- when I was 14. My daughter, nearing her 15th birthday, is now reading this book. It is a great joy to me to drive down the road with her, but through our joint imaginations from shared readings, to actually be in a different time and place by traveling together back through the bloodlines of Daughters of England. Much, much fun.
Jul 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My all time favorite book series!!! I have re-read this multiple times since I first discovered it as a teenager in the mid-80's. I absolutely love this story line of daughters set against the backdrop of British history!!!! I am currently re-reading it in 2011. The only problem is I don't own all of the books, and my local libraries don't have all of them either. I have to scour garage sales and used book stores to get all the copies! Eventually I will own them all!!! ...more
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Victoria Holt, J...: TMSB Chapter 3: Lord Remus 11 15 Mar 29, 2013 07:19PM  
Victoria Holt, J...: TMSB Chapter 2: Murder at the Abbey 9 20 Mar 28, 2013 10:49AM  
Victoria Holt, J...: * TMSB: Chapter 1: The Jeweled Madonna 32 31 Mar 27, 2013 02:41PM  
Victoria Holt, J...: Buddy Read Information 8 20 Feb 19, 2013 01:22PM  

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Eleanor Alice Burford, Mrs. George Percival Hibbert was a British author of about 200 historical novels, most of them under the pen name Jean Plaidy which had sold 14 million copies by the time of her death. She chose to use various names because of the differences in subject matter between her books; the best-known, apart from Plaidy, are Victoria Holt (56 million) and Philippa Carr (3 million). ...more

Other books in the series

Daughters of England (1 - 10 of 20 books)
  • The Lion Triumphant (Daughters of England, #2)
  • The Witch from the Sea (Daughters of England, #3)
  • Saraband for Two Sisters (Daughters of England, #4)
  • Lament for a Lost Lover (Daughters of England, #5)
  • The Love Child (Daughters of England #6)
  • The Song of the Siren (Daughters of England, #7)
  • Will You Love Me in September (Daughters of England, #8)
  • The Adulteress (Daughters of England, #9)
  • Knave of Hearts (Daughters of England, #10)
  • Voices in a Haunted Room (Daughters of England, #11)

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