Sunday, January 9, 2011

Lady in Waiting, by Susan Meissner

Lady in Waiting: A NovelHer whole life, Jane has done what others wanted, or expected, her to do.  Or so she thought.  But when her husband of 22 years leaves her, she is forced to start living life for herself.  Along the way, she finds a ring from the 16th century, inscribed with Latin, and one word in English- JANE.  Lady Jane is the second cousin to the King.  She has so few choices in her life, no choice in her betrothal, no choice in her station in life.  But finally, almost too late, she realizes she does have some control over her life.  What can the Jane from yesterday teach the Jane of today?

I was thoroughly enchanted by this book, and would not have ever guessed it was published by a traditionally Christian publisher.  It is a story with wide mainstream appeal.  I love the juxtaposition of the stories of both Janes.  I found both of the Janes, as well as Lucy, to be characters that really pulled on my heartstrings, they were so well developed and easy to relate to.  Even the parts of the book that were taking place in the 16th century had such universal themes, one did not feel a huge gap due to the time setting.

A lot of times, when stories jump from character to character, or switch time periods, it can feel a but clunky, but not the case with this lovely story.  The two stories really sort of echo each other, not necessarily in plot, but in theme and emotion.  You heart breaks for each Jane in her own time.

I personally am fascinated with anything to do with the British monarchy, particularly in the 15th and 16th centuries, so this was right up my alley.  If you enjoy the writings of Philippa Gregory, I think you will like this as well.  With the modern day element, it will also draw in more traditional romance readers.  Overall, I think this book is suitable for even older teenage readers, as several of the characters are in their teens for the majority of the book.

I am very anxious to read more from Susan Meissner, because this book literally blew me away.

I received a review copy of this book courtesy of the publisher.

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