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The Raven's Widow

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  441 ratings  ·  43 reviews
The river was as calm as I had ever seen it. Ordinarily, the tide would have been wild by this time of year, and woe unto any man unfortunate enough to fall into the fierce currents of the Thames. Tonight the tides were still, and the surface of the water appeared glassy. When I peered down into the dark depths, I saw my tired, drawn face wavering in the reflection. I ...more
Paperback, 378 pages
Published February 13th 2017 by Madeglobal
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Average rating 4.06  · 
Rating details
 ·  441 ratings  ·  43 reviews

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Jun 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Excellent historical novel about the much-maligned Jane Boleyn, Lady Rochford. The characters are well-rounded and I liked the time sequencing. Looking forward to more from this author!
Mar 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Jane Boleyn, Lady Rochford is one of the most maligned figures of the Tudor era. Sadly the fictional portrayals of The Other Boleyn Girl, The Boleyn Inheritance and The Tudors, have a lot to blame for this.
In this stunning work by Adrienne Dillard, Adrienne attempts (and 110% succeeds) in giving a fresh portrayal of Jane.

The story is beautifully told through the eyes of Jane herself. It reminded me of the 1972 film "Henry VIII and his Six Wives", with the story starting with Jane being taken to
Josephine (Jo)
This was a beautifully imagined story about an historical character of whom we really know virtually nothing. Jane Boleyn, Lady Rochford married to George Boleyn Anne's borther, has always been given the role of the bad sister-in-law and unfaithful friend. In the book the author puts forward a different interpretation of Jane's story. We cannot truly know if she was 'good or bad' but I suspect like most of us she was a bit of both. We will never understand what it must have been like to live in ...more
Gareth Russell
Jun 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
When she was asked to review books written by any of her friends, a mid-century British socialite remarked with commendable honesty that, of course, friendship with the author predisposed a reviewer to write more favourably than they might for a complete stranger - and that only by acknowledging that could one hope to turn in a fair review. In the spirit of that towardness, I should note that I have met novelist Adrienne Dillard on several occasions and I like her very much. We also share the ...more
Elizabeth S
I picked up this book in my effort to find some justice for George Boleyn, and it was just as fun as I hoped.

To give some explanation to my comment above, I will say I know George Boleyn is hardly the most slandered historical figure out there. However, he’s become so associated with a completely false narrative (that he’s incestuous, raped his wife who he hated, etc.) that was constructed for a novel flouted as close to reality.

How this characterization has stuck so strongly baffles me a
Wendy Dunn
Feb 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Dillard has a real and wonderful gift for telling history through bringing alive the voices of the past. This richly and meticulously researched work not only gives us a fresh perspective of the Anne Boleyn tale through the eyes of her sister-in-law Jane Boleyn, but also makes us see Jane anew as a woman trying her best to navigate a turbulent and dangerous world. A woman called ‘wicked’ and a major player in two terrible Tudor tragedies, Dillard constructs Jane in an empathetic and sympathetic ...more
Sandra Vasoli
May 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
From the moment you begin this book - from the very first paragraph - you will be hooked. The author's style is all at the same time familiar, approachable, sophisticated and very engaging. So, while it is engrossing and readable, the technique is excellent. Dillard does a great job of moving the reader from the 'present' in the story, to reflecting through flashbacks as narrated by Jane, the protagonist. Jane's story, her reputation, has been one of an accepted opinion as a jealous, mean and ...more
Feb 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I loved that the author portrayed Jane Boleyn sympathetically. Jane was relatable, instead of the traditional Jane Boleyn who is always portrayed as a jealous, vindictive, and scorned wife. I hope there's another installment for this book that details Janes service to Anne of Cleve's and Queen Catherine Howard.

Nikkolle Fuscaldo
Feb 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thought this book was really good. I enjoyed viewing Jane this way as it's something we rarely get to see, I also really enjoyed George. Liked to the Doctor Who Easter egg , funny.
Caidyn (SEMI-HIATUS; BW Reviews; he/him/his)
This review can also be found on BW Book Reviews.

Full disclosure: I know the author. I've read her past books and she asked me to read this. All opinions in this review are my own. And I'm sure that she's damned relieved to see them.

To be fair, I didn't like her first fiction novel. I thought that the writing was immature and the characterization wasn't up to what it should have been. It didn't read in a way I liked, so I DNFed it and left a bad review. Adrienne was very sweet about it. Then,
Sarah -  All The Book Blog Names Are Taken
Guh, couldn't put it down. I even teared up at the end, knowing what was coming for Jane. Wonderful novel, full review to come.


You can see my full review on my blog, either at: or
Robbi Leah  Freeman
Apr 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
The story of Jane Parker Boleyn (Lady Rochford) and George Boleyn written as fiction with significant researching. Author keeps it as a love marriage, which is different from most books about Jane & George. I wish we knew the truth but authors have to base most history on snippets left behind.
Shauna Johnston
Feb 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: the-tudors
Once again Adrienne Dillard delivered an exceptional novel with significant historical insight. Her talent lies in unveiling an historical perspective that has been left unexplored. Jane has been vilified throughout the years and it has been piled on, layer upon layer, and Dillard was daring in her approach to Jane Boleyn, whose character has been previously cemented in a negative fashion in the past. Her research is impeccable and she captured the dark Tudor court intrigue with all of the traps ...more
Anji Ison
Feb 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
How excited I was to find that Ms. Dillard had released a new book. I enjoyed Cor Rotto and couldn't wait to get started on this novel. She didn't disappoint!! I've read a few novels written about Jane Boleyn but majority of them never really caught my attention. This one did...Jane Boleyn came across as a real person with feelings and thoughts. I really felt for her because she didn't have anyone to protect her interests. Her quest to please everyone caused her life to be cut short. Now to wait ...more
Anne Vaughan
Feb 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
really enjoyed this gave a great and different take of the life of Jane Boylen Lady Roachford. interesting take on her marriage to George Boylen and was she just in the wrong place at the wrong time?? recomend this to anyone who loves the Tudor period not a lot written about Jane Boylen and when it is its usally negative so it makes a refreshing change to read about positives although they are at the discretion and imagination of the author.
Heidi Malagisi
Feb 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The rise and fall of the Boleyns have been something that has fascinated those who study the Tudor dynasty for centuries. We often view these series of events from the immediate Boleyn family, but what might it have been like for someone who was married to a Boleyn, like Jane Parker Boleyn, the wife of George Boleyn? Jane is often portrayed in literature as a woman who had a tumultuous marriage who sold out her husband when she was interrogated, someone who helped Katherine Howard with her ...more
Tessa McNeice
Sep 18, 2017 rated it liked it
There really should have been more of this book! Some moments were lovely, providing a sort of sensation that you might as well be tucked into the corner of these events right with Jane. But there were so many cases of telling how things developed (Jane's romance with her husband, her relationships at court...) without actually showing how it all unfolded.

Although I adored the new (far better, to be honest) interpretation of an unfairly much maligned woman, there was so much I wanted to see.
Aug 21, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: tudor-england
I was very excited to read this book; a novel that doesn't portray Jane Boleyn as a bitter, jealous shrew with an unhappy marriage is a rarity indeed. With historical fiction, there are often important events happening in the world away from the characters, and thus there is a lot of telling of events as opposed to showing in books of this genre. That being said, I felt like half the book was simply a listing of events as opposed to an actual story: "We went here and saw a bearbaiting, and then ...more
Jun 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
What a great effort to reconstruct the historical facts available to us; Adrienne Dillard's fine research has made Jane Parker Boleyn a sympathetic as well as dramatic figure. I applaud her for that and totally agree; a 10 year marriage, where Jane cohabited with George Boleyn and lived in the court supports this hypothesis.

There are many people who were players in, and victims of, Henry VIII 's cruel narcissistic rampage through his reign who deserve our sympathies. Jane apparently was one such
MJ LaBeff
Apr 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Adrienne Dillard immediately drew me into Jane Boleyn’s world, and I was swept up in the intrigue, opulence and secrecy of King Henry’s court. Jane’s loyalty was her greatest downfall. I don’t think she intended to hurt Katherine of Aragon or her sister-in-law, Anne. It is easy to understand her decision to put family first. The King sought an annulment from Katherine and divided the kingdom. It appears Katherine had many fierce and loyal supporters, but if Anne was to become queen wouldn’t ...more
Breeanna Judy
Apr 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Adrienne gave SO much life to a woman who is so often vilified in Tudor writing. She made Jane a human, flaws and all. She sheds light onto what it must've been like being a woman in a time, when women were expected to bear children, and what it must have been like to not deliver. I love her voice, I love her story telling ability, and I love the historical facts woven into the story. Jane was truly a woman caught up in a real life Game of Thrones. A must read if you like Tudor stories.
Jul 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
a refreshing version of Jane

I've read countless books about Jane and her relationship with Anne and her husband George. All making her out to be a villain with no heart and a nasty soul. This is the first time I've read a book that made her out to be a human being. It was an interesting perspective and I really enjoyed this book. I actually cried, even though I know how the story ends.
Helen Hollick
Sep 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book has received a Discovering Diamonds Review:

Helen Hollick
founder #DDRevs

"This novel presents an alternative view in which Jane did not hate Anne, did not have a bad marriage and grieved over the executions. It is well-written and probably a more realistic view of Jane than the bitter and spiteful character portrayed in most historical novels"
Shelley Lenhart
Dec 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An “Original Hit!”

Quite the TudorFan here....What an original this is......what a LOVELY read....great experience to settle for a brief visit to the 14th century.

Muriel Heanue
Jul 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great Book!

Easy read and hard to put down! One of the most enjoyable historical books on the Tudor periods I have read!
Susan Woods
Aug 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An excellent book based on a not much known person in history. I found myself able to picture the scenes described very easily. Ms Dillard captured the atmosphere of the age very well and the entire book was a joy to read.
Sep 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
I like the way the author created a more complex complex character of Jane Boleyn, rather than the usual trope of making her an evil villain.
Dec 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: history lovers, Tudor fans
I was highly looking forward to reading a novel on Jane Boleyn (née Parker) that was gave a more sympathetic and well rounded view on Jane, rather than jealous and scheming woman that she has been labelled throughout history. Jane Boleyn is a woman who has been villainized throughout history and was known for her 'unhappy' marriage to George Boleyn, the brother of the infamous Anne Boleyn. However, there has never been any evidence to claim whether the marriage was happy or not, but I rather ...more
Dec 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thank you so much for writing this version of Jane. So many books I've read over the years portray her as vindictive, selfish & just nasty. It was a pleasant surprise to see another take on Jane and the possibility that maybe, she wasn't all those things previous books have portrayed her to be. I feel you've given her another life and it was a joy to read about this Jane.
Danielle Marchant
Apr 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Many thanks to Adrienne for sending me a copy of her new, fantastic, historical fiction novel, “The Raven’s Widow: A Novel of Jane Boleyn”. Frequently in historical fiction and drama, Jane is portrayed as scheming, a gossip, and not thinking twice about sending her own husband and sister-in-law to the scaffold. Basically, a not very nice person. However, there is evidence that this portrayal is heavily exaggerated, inaccurate and that she was actually a bit of a scapegoat. “The Raven’s Widow” ...more
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Adrienne Dillard, is a graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies with emphasis in History from Montana State University-Northern. She has been an eager student of history for most of her life and has completed in-depth research on the American Revolutionary War time period in American History and the history and sinking of the Titanic. Her senior university capstone paper was on the ...more