Thursday, March 7, 2013

A Soap Opera in Book Form

The Sumerton Women by D.L. Bogdan

Summary: Orphaned at age eight, Lady Cecily Burkhart becomes the ward of Harold Pierce, Earl of Sumerton. Lord Hal and his wife, Lady Grace, welcome sweet-natured Cecily as one of their own. With Brey, their young son, Cecily develops an easy friendship. But their daughter, Mirabella, is consumed by her religious vocation—and by her devotion to Father Alec Cahill, the family priest and tutor.

As Henry VIII’s obsession with Anne Boleyn leads to violent religious upheaval, Mirabella is robbed of her calling and the future Cecily dreamed of is ripped away in turn. Cecily struggles to hold together the fractured household while she and Father Alec grapple with a dangerous mutual attraction. Plagued with jealousy, Mirabella unleashes a tumultuous chain of events that threatens to destroy everyone around her, even as the kingdom is torn apart…

Review: A soap opera in book where anything that could go wrong, did.

I am a sucker for anything Tudor related and I was interested to read this book. I don’t mind books about made up characters or books that tell stories set during the same time period as the Tudor family as long as they are enjoyable to read. Unfortunately, this book fell short. While this book takes place during the reign of Henry VIII when he was breaking with the Catholic Church and annulling his marriage with Catherine of Aragon, the Sumerton family were extremely isolated from events so we only got information second hand.

I get that tragedies happen and I understand that people died easily in the 1500s, be they old or young, but too much is too much. I did not want to read a soap opera in book form. Everything that can happen does happen and the bad events seem to serve the main character, Cecily, in eventually getting what she’s always wanted. Despite everything that has happened to Cecily in her life, she manages to stay good, kind, and pure. Why was she so lucky? The trauma didn’t seem to have much effect on her.


I would only recommend this book to those that enjoy historical fiction and don’t mind a good deal of tragedy. 

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