I knew about Lady Jane Grey and the infamous nine day rule. I did not know the background story at all and this story filled in all the gaps.
Elizabeth Tilney accompanied Lady Jane Grey all across London to the Tower. She surprised herself even by volunteering for this job. She did not know what it entailed nor did she seem to care. Elizabeth lived in the moment, did not know anything very much about the world at large and did not seem to care. Her foray into London and accompanying Lady Jane Grey changed her as much as it possibly could. She thought it was a temporary stay, after some time the Queen would forgive and forget and Lady Jane would go back to wherever she had to go and Elizabeth would go back home to her boring life.
The two could not have been more different - Jane was erudite, self contained and resolute. Elizabeth was the opposite. She could not understand Jane and her studious ways, she could not fathom how someone could be so "alone". Characterization was wonderful in this book. You could visualise every scene the manner in which Elizabeth and Jane would react to each other with just a word, or with a raised eyebrow!
The story necessarily ended with the summary execution of both Jane and her young husband but the story of Elizabeth is the one that interested me more. I would have liked to know what happened to her afterwards.
Family machinations during the Tudor regime, no love lost between family members and betrayal was commonplace. This is part of this period of history and it is well enacted here.
The book was sent to me by Edelweiss for an unbiased review.