Having studied the Tudor period for my a-levels and having an interest in it, I looked forward to this. I had heard Suzannah Dunn speaking about it and she seemed to have done her research well.
The book didn't disappoint. It is told from the story of Cat Tilney, a close friend of Katherine and part of the queen's household. It was a refreshing change to see what unfolds from her perspective. I also thought Dunn had done an exceptional job of explaining what happened without making it boring or too complicated.
It shocked me how naive Katherine was. At times I was shouting 'what are you doing?!'. She truly believed that Thomas Culpepper was what she deserved, for having to put up with the king. Historians have labelled her as a silly little girl. I think she was quite the opposite. She knew exactly what she was doing. As it says in the book, 'she was a girl who couldn't help herself.'
It lost a star because there were some grammatical errors that really irritated me and I did find myself unsure of who was who at times (perhaps this says more about how much I concentrated in history!).
The ending has been criticized by some but I found it perfect. After all, we are all aware of what happens. For me, it's the build up that is the most interesting.
This was a book that I really enjoyed. It's not a history textbook and if that's what you are expecting, you'll be sadly disappointed. If you want a good novel, based on history, you could do a lot worse than this!
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