Sunday, June 30, 2013

Which One are You Again?

Her Highness, the Traitor by Susan Higginbotham

Summary: As Henry VIII draws his last breath, two very different women, Jane Dudley, Viscountess Lisle, and Frances Grey, Marchioness of Dorset, face the prospect of a boy king, Edward VI.

For Jane Dudley, basking in the affection of her large family, the coming of a new king means another step upward for her ambitious, able husband, John. For Frances Grey, increasingly alienated from her husband and her brilliant but arrogant daughter Lady Jane, it means that she—and the Lady Jane—are one step closer to the throne of England.

Then the young king falls deathly ill. Determined to keep England under Protestant rule, he concocts an audacious scheme that subverts his own father’s will. Suddenly, Jane Dudley and Frances Grey are reluctantly bound together in a common cause—one that will test their loyalties, their strength, and their faith, and that will change their lives beyond measure.

Review: A tale of Lady Jane Grey from the viewpoint of two women that are much too alike.

It was nice to read a story of Lady Jane Grey that didn't have Jane Grey portrayed as a saint who suffered at the hands of her mother. Although it's hard to get a good idea of her personality in this book since Jane Grey's story is told from two people: Frances Grey and Jane Dudley, I did get the feeling that Jane thought highly of herself, was proud, and would stick to her morals and beliefs even at the risk of harm. The conflict between Jane Grey and her mother mainly came from Jane's pride and adolescence.

Despite all that, this book was hindered by being told from two points, two different women who seemed the same. When there wasn't a good way to tell them apart, I found myself flipping to the next chapter to see whose chapter I was reading (the chapters switch off). I felt like the author was trying to take the blame off the women and place it squarely on the men's shoulders. It felt very fake and I can't believe the women not being the least excited about a daughter being queen or a son being married to a queen.


Recommendation: I would recommend this book to those that are interested in a different story of Lady Jane Grey.

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