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Monday, January 8, 2018

the Queen's Mary by Sarah Gristwood



I seem to have been buried under mystery/thriller murder books and just came up for a breath of fresh air of a different kind.

History - Mary Queen of Scots and a new aspect of her tumultuous history. She had four ladies in waiting all called Mary. It was almost like joining a nunnery because they had to dedicate their lives and they all did to the wishes, beliefs and life of Queen Mary.

1548 and five little girls are taken from their homes in Scotland for training in France all to serve another Mary. With only vague recollections of their Scottish roots they train in France till one day a decade later they are called back to serve in their homeland. The upheaval, the uprooting, the difficulty of adapting to a new, different, harsher way of life which will show reality in all its ugliness now awaits them. Their loyalties will be tested and for Mary Seaton especially the times are going to be hard.

How she has to chart a future for herself as well without endangering in any way the views and life of the Queen are going to be a challenge for Seton. She serves the longest and she knows the Queen or thinks she knows her the best. But does she?

This aspect of Mary Queen of Scots was from a more personal side of history - her life the way it started, how she was maneuvered into not just one marriage, coerced into another and how keeping up with the formidable Elizabeth on the other side was not going to be a life of much ease. Told from the personal aspect of the women who served her, this was an uncommonly good read.

Sent to me by Netgalley for an unbiased review, courtesy of Endeavour Press.

On another note I will be away from home for a month visiting my children in Melbourne. I do hope I find the time to post here. I have been finding it hard to find the time to read and review the way I used to do. I hope I can catch up with the reading at least whilst overseas!

8 comments:

Literary Feline said...

This sounds like a good historical novel that doesn't overly romanticize the tile period.

I hope you have a wonderful visit with your children! Safe travels, Mystica.

Sarah Johnson said...

I have a copy of this and have been meaning to get to it. Thanks for the review, and hope you have a nice family visit!

Laura Fabiani said...

Interesting that this was told from the perspectives of the ladies in waiting. Enjoy visiting with your children in Melbourne!

Kathryn T said...

Enjoy Melbourne. Hope its not too hot although I guess you are fairly used to heat. What a fascinating book and those poor girls being so uprooted. Heart rending really.

Susan said...

I hadn't heard of this one before, but it definitely sounds interesting. I'll have to check it out.

Have a great trip to Australia!

Blodeuedd said...

Being a lady in waiting does not seem fun at all

Carole said...

Have a great trip. If you have time could you share this book with Books You Loved: New Year Edition. Cheers from Carole's chatter

Erin @ Quixotic Magpie said...

Oo this sounds spectacular!

Have a great visit with your family!