Author: Brandy Purdy
Series: Stand Alone
Published: February 25th 2014 by Kensington
Source: Publisher via Netgalley
Description: At sixteen, Elizabeth Howard envisions a glorious life for herself as lady-in-waiting to the future queen, Catherine of Aragon. But when she is forced to marry Thomas Boleyn, a wealthy commoner, Elizabeth is left to stagnate in the countryside while her detested husband pursues his ambitions. There, she raises golden girl Mary, moody George, and ugly duckling Anne—while staving off boredom with a string of admirers. Until Henry VIII takes the throne. . . When Thomas finally brings his highborn wife to London, Elizabeth indulges in lavish diversions and dalliances—and catches the lusty king's eye. But those who enjoy Henry's fickle favor must also guard against his wrath. For while her husband's machinations bring Elizabeth and her children to the pinnacle of power, the distance to the scaffold is but a short one—and the Boleyn family's fortune may be turning. . .
I Give This ...
Tudor Era, oh how you call to me. However, I probably should have stayed away from this one. I enjoyed learning about Anne and Mary Boleyn from a different perspective. But, the Elizabeth Howard is this book is one of the most narcissistic women I have ever read about.
I know that women of privilege can sometimes be a little out of touch with reality. Even in Tudor England, were nobility women were still basically considered property, maybe even more so then. But, I think Elizabeth takes the cake in that department. She's well bread and beautiful, and she's not afraid to tell you about it every couple pages. I was hoping that being forced to marry somebody that wasn't of her "standing" would knock her down a couple pegs. Yet, it didn't take long to discover that he was horrible too. He had little care for her personally, only what she could do for him.
Children seem to be the common thread that weave all women together. Somehow, the motherly instinct skipped right by Elizabeth. Her children were basically beings that robbed of her youth and beauty. Mary was pretty, so she received what little attention her mother had to give. Never mind that it seems she was never taught even a little bit of common sense. She was probably so starved for affection that she found it in whatever man was willing to offer it. At least Anne was smart, almost too smart for her own good though. I think it was her temper that got her in the end. Nobody bested Henry VIII. Although, I have to admit that the idea that all 3 women had relationships with Henry VIII to be a little disturbing.
In the end, she kept talking about how she could have done things differently. If only she had forgiven Mary, if only she had done this or that. But, what really bugged me was Mary was still alive. I wish she would have made that step to bridge the gap. She might have redeemed herself a little.
I might have to seek out something else that might shed some more light on Elizabeth. She couldn't have really been like this?