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Carpe Librum

Bookish conversation with author Samantha Wilcoxson.


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Historical Novel Society

The Traitor's Wife - Susan Higginbotham This is the first book I have read by Susan Higginbotham and also the first to focus on Edward II. It was meticulously researched, and the author seems to have attempted to keep it as historically accurate as possible. There is drama, romance, murder, infidelity, scheming . . . . it seems everything was in place to make this an unforgettable novel.

It was very good. I enjoyed this book very much and carried it around with me for a couple of days so that I could spend every spare moment reading it. So why not 5 stars? Why not, indeed. I guess that I was just missing that vital connection to one of the characters that would lead me to say this book was one of my favorites. While the story was told accurately and well, in the end I didn't feel much for Eleanor.

Her scene, and if you've read this you know which one, with the King was highly disturbing and not at all what I expected. It certainly wouldn't have been my reaction to the news she had just received. With this event began my dislike for her character and therefore lack of concern for what happened to her. Maybe that seems a little harsh, but for a book to be 5 star to me I need to love and sympathize with one of the characters.

Hugh was loveable for Eleanor, and for me, at first, but Edward apparently had a way of causing people to make really bad decisions! The most loveable character for me was William Zouche, but he was not included in detail for most of the novel. I would highly recommend this book as a fabulous summary of Edward II's reign, but not a heart-wrenching one.