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Carpe Librum

Bookish conversation with author Samantha Wilcoxson.


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Historical Novel Society

The Crown (Joanna Stafford #1) by Nancy Bilyeau

The Crown - Nancy Bilyeau

The Crown was a unique novel that I had not quite decided if I was going to read until I had an opportunity to get a copy of the latest Joanna Stafford novel, The Tapestry. I'm glad that I did. Joanna is an interesting and well developed character, and I enjoyed her story.

The writing and historical research evident in this novel were two of the elements that I enjoyed most. Joanna is incredibly innocent of some worldly truths, yet well connected through her family. She is firm in her faith, but with an independence that makes her foolishly impetuous at times. She came across as very real as she struggled with contradictory desires and goals.

For a nun, Joanna has a lot of men in her life. The way each of them fits into her story left me wondering just how long she would remain a nun or if she would even have a choice, as the dissolution of the monasteries is occurring around her.

I enjoyed the genuineness of Joanna's faith, even as she learned that not all she trusted in was true. With a quest directly from Bishop Gardiner, Joanna must decide for herself what is right.

The only element that put me off for part of the book was the mysticism that was blended with the very well done portrayal of the Catholic faith. In the end, though, even this was wrapped up satisfactorily.

I look forward to continuing with Joanna's story in The Chalice and The Tapestry. This was the book of the month in the book club More Historical than Fiction. Join us!