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Monday, January 21, 2019

Sisters of Arden by Judith Arnopp

Medieval times was a harsh time. Not just for women but for men as well. I can see how the life in a monastery or a nunnery would appeal to many. For those men who had nothing to inherit, for women who were not married for whatever reason, these would have provided safe sanctuary and for the most part it did.

This book however deals with the not safe part where Cromwell egged on by King Henry VIII and this time around Cromwell was looking to close every abbey and monastery there was in the Kingdom and ruthlessly take over whatever possessions they had. In this case, it was pitiful. Their possessions were meagre, the nuns themselves were permanently starving, they were always cold as they lived in a very wind swept part of Britain and they were all homeless. When the abbey closed, some of them got placed in other abbeys but three of them - the three most vulnerable were literally put out on to the streets to fend for themselves.

Joining a band of people in similar circumstances, the three of them hoped merely for survival. To be able to live to see another day. Sadly one died and the remaining two the indomitable Margery and Grace who was sent because she disgraced her aristocratic family by falling in love and getting pregnant, are forced together by the infant son who is ignored by his mother and lovingly brought up by Margery to join forces to just survive.

The story is an emotional one of injustice, hardship, sheer misery, intolerance and hatred. The story of Margery and Grace is a good one though.
Tough reading but this is actual history.

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


  1. This sounds good but tough to read, like you said.

  2. I haven't read a novel set in medieval times in a long time though I don't think this one, in spite of the unusual storyline, is for me.