Monday, March 11, 2013

She Sees the Future

The Secret Keeper: A Novel of Kateryn Parr (Ladies in Waiting #2) by Sandra Byrd

Summary: Mistress Juliana St. John is the lovely, forthright daughter of a prosperous knight’s family. Though all expect her to marry the son of her late father’s business partner, time and chance interrupt, sending her to the sumptuous but deceptive court of Henry VIII.

 Sir Thomas Seymour, brother of the late Queen Jane, returns to Wiltshire to conclude his affairs with Juliana’s father’s estate and chances upon her reading as lector in the local church. He sees instantly that she would fit into the household of the woman he loves and wants most to please, Kateryn Parr. Juliana’s mother agrees to have her placed with Parr for a season and Juliana goes, though reluctantly.

For she keeps a secret.

 As Juliana accompanies Kateryn Parr to court, Henry’s devout sixth queen raises the stakes for all reformers. Support of firebrand Anne Askew puts the queen and her ladies in life-threatening jeopardy, as does the queen’s desire to influence her husband’s—and the realm’s—direction and beliefs. Later, without Henry’s strong arm, the court devolves to competition, duplicity, and betrayal. The risks could not be higher as Juliana must choose between love and honor, personal fulfillment and sacrifice. Ultimately, her course is driven by a final kept secret, one that undoes everything she thought she knew.

Review: An enjoyable Tudor historical fiction novel featuring Katherine Parr.

I enjoyed this book although I must admit that not much has stuck with me after a few days. Unlike the last Tudor historical fiction novel I read, The Secret Keeper actually involved the Tudors. I like Katherine Parr well enough even though she isn't as interesting as some of Henry VIII's other queens like Catherine of Aragon, Anne Boyeln, and Catherine Howard. Katherine Parr's left story is pretty tragic though. She was forced to marry for duty three times and had to worry about her life when married to Henry VIII. She only got to marry for love once and died soon after having her first child. 

I know Juliana is the main character, but she isn't much of a main character. She is more of a vehicle by which to tell the story of Katherine Parr and Thomas Seymour. Her gift of prophecy felt mainly like a plot device. I did like Juliana well enough though and was sad about what happened to her at court. I was glad that she got her happy ending. I did like the portrayal of Elizabeth and how she reacted around Thomas Seymour. I was glad to see that she was confused and upset about Thomas' behavior towards her. 


Recommendation: I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys historical fiction about the Tudors.

No comments:

Post a Comment