One of the things that I really love is reading. It is one of the things I love most… even above sleep (and chocolate, but shhhh… that’s a sin lol). Sometimes I am so busy that I don’t get much time to read and then suddenly a window of opportunity will open and I dive into my TBR pile and hunt down the book I’ve been waiting to read most.
In March I was given a few books as a belated birthday gift. More than one of these had a common thread – Tudor England – because if there’s one thing that my family and friends know, it’s that I love that period of history. One of these books was the beautifully written The May Bride by Suzannah Dunn. I have a few of her books and so I already know that I love her writing style and her ability to sweep me into her story. The subject of this book was a new one to me though. Well, the lead character isn’t unknown and she certainly wasn’t new to me, but I have never read a book which focused on her life before she entered that famous world stage that was “Queen of England”. This beautiful book focuses on a teen Jane Seymour and some experiences that may’ve shaped her later in life.
The story is wonderfully written and I confess I only got 4 hours sleep because I was silly enough to start reading it at nearly 11pm! It was everything I was expecting from a Tudor period story. Some of the cast of characters were of course extremely familiar, although this was a totally new and fresh perspective on them. Others were brand new to me and contributed to a rich and textured glimpse into Jane’s early family life.
The only downside for me? Well, I felt as if a lot of time had been spent on certain parts of the story (and time well spent), but towards the end of the book I felt that I would have been happy to have a few more chapters and a some more details. By no means does this detract from the overall success of the book, I just would’ve really like more.
A solid 4 hearts from me.
I didn’t stand a chance: looking back over thirteen years, that’s what I see. In the very first instant, I was won over, and of course I was: I was fifteen and had been nowhere and done nothing, whereas Katherine was twenty-one and yellow-silk-clad and just married to the golden boy…
Jane Seymour is a shy, dutiful fifteen-year-old when her eldest brother, Edward, brings his bride home to Wolf Hall. Katherine Filliol is the perfect match for Edward, as well as being a breath of fresh air for the Seymour family, and Jane is captivated by the older girl. Over the course of a long, hot country summer, the two become close friends and allies, while Edward is busy building alliances at court and advancing his career.
However, only two years later, the family is torn apart by a dreadful allegation made by Edward against his wife. The repercussions for all the Seymours are incalculable, not least for Katherine herself. When Jane is sent away, to serve Katharine of Aragon, she is forced to witness another wife being put aside, with terrible consequences. Changed forever by what happened to Katherine Filliol, Jane comes to understand that in a world where power is held entirely by men, there is a way in which she can still hold true to herself.