Whilst I enjoy historical fiction, I always approach the genre with a certain amount of trepidation, because of a fear that the characters and the settings are going to confuse me. I therefore was pleased that when I started to read this book I had an opportunity of a couple of long car journeys to get stuck into it. In the end though, I had nothing to fear.
This book is from the very start, immediate and attention grabbing. It doesn’t feel ‘wrong’, as so many historical novels can do, of being written with a 21st-century language, but it also doesn’t fall into the trap of distancing the reader through slavishly observing the language and tone of the period. This is just a well told, if fictional, account of the life of Henry VII’s first wife.
I say fictional, but that is only because in her afterword, Philippa Gregory stresses the fictional parts of the story. This is a well-researched and exceptionally-told history of that part of British history. Certainly, I have always been a bit confused over events and timelines, and reading this has made me understand more, just from this one book. I’ll certainly be reading on further into the series, as well as reading the Cousin’s War series too!