Reviews and bookish conversation with author Samantha Wilcoxson.
If I am lost, you will find me in medieval England.
You can also find me - and my books - on my blog.
This book appealed to me because the author seemed to have the same philosophy toward writing historical fiction as my own. Catherine Carey is a relatively minor character in Tudor era drama though she is closely related to larger players, just how closely is a subject for debate. The story is a intimately told personal story of love, family, and loyalty that focuses on Catherine and her children rather than the historical events of the day. Since she was born during the reign of Henry VIII, survived Edward VI and Mary I, and served Elizabeth I, Catherine has an interesting story to tell.
That being said, she is above all else a wife and mother. Catherine avoids most of the drama of the Tudor court, the major exception to this rule being when she and her husband find refuge with Protestants on the Continent during the reign of Queen Mary. This gives an interesting glimpse into the decisions that each family had to make during the religious unrest of the 16th century.
Catherine is submissive to her husband and loyal to Queen Elizabeth (no matter how horridly the virgin queen behaves), which causes her story to largely be the story of others and events that are beyond he control. Sometimes, this causes more telling than showing, but the reader is at the mercy of Catherine's limited point-of-view. The most emotive moments are when she births, cares for, and inevitably loses several of her fourteen children. While she yearns to simply raise her children, the demanding Queen Elizabeth frequently keeps Catherine away from her beloved family so that she can fulfill important duties such as caring for the royal pet monkey. Suffice it to say that Catherine had far more patience for the situations she was placed in than I would!
We are given glimpses of Catherine's daughter Lettice, who promises to have a more dramatic story. I wonder if the author will be carrying on with her.
I was pleased to find this book available through Kindle Unlimited.