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Friday, October 15, 2010

Lady in Waiting...Review

About the book:
Content in her comfortable marriage of twenty-two years, Jane Lindsay never expected to watch her husband Brad pack his belongings and walk out the door of their Manhattan home. But when it happens, she feels powerless to stop him and the course of events that follow Brad’s departure.

Jane finds an old ring in a box of relics from a British jumble sale and discovers a Latin inscription in the band along with just one other word: Jane. Feeling instant connection to the mysterious ring bearing her namesake, Jane begins a journey to learn more about the ring—and perhaps about herself.

In the sixteenth-century, Lucy Day becomes the dressmaker to Lady Jane Grey, an innocent young woman whose fate seems to be controlled by a dangerous political and religious climate, one threatening to deny her true love and pursuit of her own interests.

As the stories of both Janes dovetail through the journey of one ring, it becomes clear that each woman has far more influence over their lives than they once imagined. It all comes down to the choices each makes despite the realities they face.


I wasn't sure what to expect from this story.  I wasn't sure how alternating chapters between modern day America and 16th century England would play out, and normally I hate first-person.  But, I loved Lady in Waiting.  And I loved it for Lucy's story.  Oh, both Janes were interesting and I now want to find out more about Lady Jane Grey, but Lucy's voice was truly fantastic. 

The story switches back and forth between each Jane.  Jane Lindsay must reevaluate her life when her husband leaves.  Lady Jane was born into royalty and while in love with another man, forced to marry for politics and not love.  Modern Jane's story was ok.  I thought her a bit flat and self-centered, but as she comes to understand herself and that her choices are her own, she blossoms a bit.  Both Janes felt they were in situations beyond their own control:  Lady Jane was forced to submit to her parents' will for political reasons, modern Jane felt she was pushed into her marriage and career by her parents.  It is at the end of the book where we begin to see the connection and similarities between these two women, and Jane feels a connection to this ring that bears her name, even when the research as to the ring's origin comes back inconclusive.

But, while the story is about the two Janes, it is as much Lucy's story as anything.  A dressmaker who becomes Lady Jane's confidant, Lucy narrates Lady Jane's portion of the story and I love her voice.  I love her conviction; the love and compassion she had for her Lady was beautiful.  The historical aspect of the book was fascinating as well.  The reign of English royalty is certainly paved with blood and it is astonishing to me the atrocities that occur throughout history in the name of religion.

A captivating story and one that is easily recommended.

Thanks to First Wildcard and Random House for the opportunity to review this book.  You can learn more about Susan Meissner here.  You can read the first chapter here.  You can purchase your own copy here.

Read 10/10

* * * *
4/5 Stars

4 comments:

  1. This sounds really good, I am going to add it to my wishlist. I already checked my library and they don't have it.

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  2. Wow, you've made this book sound marvelous!! Great review.

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  3. Hi,
    I loved this one too!

    http://bookcritiques.blogspot.com/2010/10/lady-in-waiting-by-susan-meissner.html

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  4. This sounds fantastic! In the mid-80s, Helena Bonham Carter starred in "Lady Jane," and I remember thinking that the film was incredible, and it started this obsession for me of all things Lady Jane! A few years later, when my parents and I visited London, the Tower of London was an amazing site to see, but we went to a library there and they actually had one of her prayer books there in a display case. It was lucky coincidence that they had it displayed during our visit, and I've loved the story of Lady Jane ever since. This one is definitely going on the list!!

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