Tuesday, November 24, 2009

' A Lady Raised High' by Laurian Gardner

This book recounts the tale  of the rise and fall of Anne Boleyn, and begins with Anne as she , on the route of one of her progresses, passes through the small village in which  the main character of the book, Frances Pierce, lives. The daughter of a minor baronet/farmer, Frances shields Anne from mud slinging detractors along the route. Anne takes notice of the girl who shielded her & Frances is rewarded & brought to Court to serve Anne. Frances quickly becomes a favored attendant and confidant. The rise and fall of the infamous Anne Boleyn, mother of my favorite Queen Elizabeth 1, told through the story of Frances Piece revitalizes this sometimes hackneyed tale of Queen Anne. We witness Frances becoming adjusted to the riches, power struggles & vagaries of the Court. We relive what girlhood crushes can be like & what the strength of a good marriage can bring as Frances weds one of King Henry's courtiers, Jack Carlisle and becomes the Lady Carlisle, has a son & treads  treacherous waters as Anne falls out of grace with King. It is obvious that Anne becomes jealous of Frances - Anne's marriage is falling apart whilst Frances' is growing stronger; Anne cannot  produce a son & much needed heir to the throne whilst Frances has a healthy baby boy who thrives.

This book is really about two different ladies who were raised high; Anne Boleyn raised high by Henry VIII & Frances, raised high by Anne. I read this  book over the last two nights & I have to say that I couldn't put it down. I think that it's a refreshing take on an oft told story. Well done & highly enjoyable I definitely can recommend this as a good read - especially for Tudor era buffs and historical fiction fans.

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