Thursday, November 18, 2010

Review: The Sixth Wife by Suzannah Dunn

The Sixth Wife by Suzannah Dunn
☆ ☆ 1/2

Setting: England 1547-1548
Henry VIII has just died leaving his sixth wife, Katherine Parr, a widow. Henry’s nine year old son, Edward, is now King of England. Katherine, commonly referred to as Kate by her closest friends, was known as the Protestant Queen of England. Kate was known to be intelligent, kind, and dignified.

Synopsis: Right after the death of Henry, Kate rushed into a secret elopement with one of her closest friends, Thomas Seymour. Catherine, the Duchess of Sulfolk has been Kate’s lifelong friend since childhood. Catherine felt hurt and betrayed that her dearest friend did not confide in her about marrying Thomas. Cathy did not trust Thomas. It was no hidden secret that Thomas once sought after the hand of the little Princess Elizabeth who is now his Stepdaughter.

She questioned his motives for marrying Kate. Was it for money, surely not for royalty or children? Kate has been barren all her life and she no longer was Queen of England, but instead the Dowager Queen of England. Kate seems happy now and so Catherine tries not to make a big deal about her sudden marriage to Thomas. So instead, she takes it upon herself to try and solve the mystery behind the mysterious Thomas Seymour. Soon Catherine feels herself trapped in a dark secret of her own. She’s now faced with her loyalty to her friend and the risk of losing everything she loves and holds dear to her heart.

Opinion: This book, I regretfully admit, was a disappointment through and through. I was looking forward to getting to know Katherine Parr and her struggles as the last wife of Henry VIII. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case. Instead, I got to know everything about Catherine, the Duchess of Suffolk and Thomas Seymour, but not so much Katherine.

Catherine was the narrator throughout the entire book, which was disappointing in itself. The book was dry and the characters weren’t well developed. Upon reading the first chapter, I was lost. I had no idea what was going on because it’s like I was reading from the end of the book instead of from the beginning. So this caused me to feel like there was a piece missing like I was completely out of the loop with the characters. I think if Katherine had been the narrator and there was a little more background to Katherine’s life in the beginning then I might have enjoyed it a little more.

So unfortunately, this was a disappointment I don’t really recommend it. I haven’t given up on Suzannah Dunn yet. I will definitely read another of her books when I come across one.

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