Mary Tudor had a very hard life as a child. First she was the object of her father’s, King Henry VIII affection. Then cast out as a illegitimate child with her mother Catherine of Aragon. She went from Princess to Lady and was to be re-trained to accept her new rank and the new religion.
When Henry married Jane, Mary was finally returned to the Castle and reunited with her father but still as a Lady not a princess. Before his death, Henry VIII reinstated Mary as princess and was to be queen in the event that her half brother Edward VI died. Edward carried forth the new religion at the bidding of his counsel and the practice of Catholicism was outlawed, even for Mary.
Mary defied this order however and was threatened by Edwards council. The threats turned out empty and eventually, when the ailing Edward died, she became Queen Mary. She vowed to return England to the old faith.
Today, Queen Mary is often referred to as Bloody Mary because of all the burnings of so called heretics in her land. Julianne Lee wrote this book in an attempt to humanize Mary and show her point of view. She succeeded in this. She brought Mary to life. We got to see how hard her up bring was and her continued devotion to her faith even when her life was threatened for it.
The opening of the story was some modern day children at a slumber party. One of the kids is dared to stare into a mirror and repeat the words “bloody Mary”. This summons Mary and she recalls her life in flashback fashion. Each chapter begins with her narration and the falls into third person narration. This technique worked for me but I didn’t care for the modern day slumber party scene. It made me think of a “B” movie from the 10970’s. LOL!
Julianne Lee also focuses on Mary’s devote religious beliefs which was important to the story but seemed to drag on a bit for me. I got the point, now let’s move on a bit. That said, most of the parts of this novel were first rate. Lee succeeds in bring Queen Mary Tudor to life and gains some of the reader’s sympathy for her.
This is the first book by Julianne Lee that I have read but I am interested in reading more by her.
Thanks to Kaitlyn Kennedy of Penguin Books, USA for a copy of this book.
John of The Book Mine Set reviewed this story a couple of weeks ago, here and enticed me to read it as well.
Aunt Cyrilla and Lucy were going to visit family in the city, Pembroke for Christmas. Aunt Cyrilla took out her big clunky basket and started packing all kinds of food into it. This was an embarrassment to Lucy. To her it’s a symbol of the old county way of life. She didn’t want to be seen with her Aunt and that basket.
It turned out to be a good thing that Aunt Cyrilla brought that basket full of food. Read the story to find out.
I think as children, we have all had things that embarresed us about our parents or relatives. Even though this is a really old story, I could relate to the characters. I laughed at all of the things Aunt Cyrilla put in that basket. In fact, I would have thought it was the size of a Hummer, if she hadn’t carried it on her arm. LOL! I really enjoyed this story and highly recommend it.
If you would like to participate in Short Story Mondays or just find out about some great short stories, go to John of The Book Mine Set. He has a short story review every Monday and a place for you to link your short story reviews. Come join in the fun!
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