Sunday, February 6, 2011

Lady in Waiting – Susan Meissner

Publisher:  WaterBrook Press
Pages:  352
Source:  Review copy from publisher
Genre:  Adult contemporary/historical fiction

One of my favorite reads is historical fiction of just about any era.  When you mix historical times with modern times it enhances the read even more.

Jane Lindsay’s marriage has ended after 22 years.  She never saw it coming.  Instead of moping around she puts herself whole-heartedly into her antique shop.  While going through an old box, she discovers a ring engraved with her name.  This makes her wonder about the owner of the ring.  She sets out to find out all she can about the Jane who had owned the ring.  She learns the Jane is none other than 16th century Lady Jane Grey.  Both women were dealt a bad hand but they both possessed a strength and courage they didn’t know they had.

The great thing about this book is that the two stories are told in alternating sections.  Lady Jane Grey’s story is told through the point of view of Lucy her dressmaker.  It felt like I was reading two stories and yet the thread connecting them seamed them together effortlessly.  Before reading this book I actually knew little of Lady Jane’s story.  I did wait until I’d finished the book before I did some research on her.   It is because of books like this that I am finding myself becoming a fan of British history.  I don’t often enjoy first person narrative.  It seems stilted or forced.  Susan Meissner was able to pull this off with no problem.  There are some excellent reasons to read this book, the interconnected stories, the historical aspect, and the subtle lessons of strength and courage.  This is definitely a book to recommend to all my friends.

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