Bookish conversation with author Samantha Wilcoxson.
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*Historic facts not treated as spoilers.*
Margaret Beaufort is known for being the formidable mother of Henry Tudor, but what was she before war and hardship turned her into the cold, angular woman we picture when we think of her? Arnopp does an excellent job of answering that question with this story covering Margaret's earliest years. Though the story ends when Margaret is only thirteen, she has already become a widowed mother with an unknown future lurking before of her.
Young Margaret is a girl we can each sympathize with, whether we understand her feelings of never being as beautiful as her sister or knowing she is not truly loved by her mother. When she is married off at a painfully early age, I cringed at what I knew was coming for her.
Yet, the author also creates an Edmund Tudor we can understand. How can we admire a man who claimed his marriage privileges with his twelve year old wife? Well, just read it. You, too, might surprise yourself by shedding a tear when Edmund meets his tragic end.
Part of the secret is the skillful way Arnopp slowly builds a relationship between Margaret and Edmund. This is so sensitively and realistically done that theirs becomes an unlikely love story. However, the seeds for Margaret's future sternness are also planted. No one goes through what she did without starting to form a crusty shell, and her devotion to her only child is well established.
I look forward to reading the rest of this series and was happy to find it available through Kindle Unlimited.