Title: Lady in Waiting
Author: Susan Meissner
Publisher’s Synopsis: Love is a choice you make every day.
Content in her comfortable marriage of twenty-two years, Jane Lindsay had never expected to watch her husband, rad, 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 recognizable word: Jane. Feeling an 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 infl uence over her life than she once imagined. It all comes down to the choices each makes despite the realities they face.
As someone who isn’t a fan of historical fiction, I was a little nervous about choosing this book to review– particularly when I realized that modern intermingled with historical. In my opinion, it’s hard to do that without feeling like the author just had two stories to write and neither were long enough for a full length book on their own. Well, thankfully, that isn’t the case here. I suspect that Mrs. Meissner had plenty she could have added about both stories had space allowed. As it was, I keep thinking about each of the three main characters in the books, and my mind refuses to stop wondering about them. That if indicative of excellent writing. When a reader doesn’t want the story to end, keeps pondering the possibilities, and considers writing the author asking for more, you know you have a winner of a book.
What I love about the primary story (the one set in today) is that there is a marriage struggle that has more at the core of it than it seems… but no deep horrible betrayal or ugliness. I loved how the end of the book doesn’t wrap everything up in a nice, neat package, but you’re left with the assurance that all will be well.
The story of Lady Jane Grey was surprisingly fascinating. Told from the perspective of her seamstress, the core of the tale has more to it than your typical royal alliances and power struggles. I love that. At the heart of that story isn’t just a young girl’s fledgling love for a man, but her deep abiding love for her Lord. She has embraced the tenets of reform and refuses to recant even knowing death is certain. Her husband recants. Her father-in-law recants, but Lady Jane, a mere girl of sixteen or seventeen, refuses to recant and goes to her death with the words of Jesus on her lips. “Lord, into thy hands I commend my spirit.”
The book is written in first person but is so well done that I didn’t realize it until half-way through the book. I tend not to like first person writing, but I must say, if all was written as smoothly and comfortably as this one, I’d probably become a convert. My only objection are a few words here or there that seemed to jar. They’re rare, but they were there. For the most part, it’s simply an excellent book.
Do I recommend the book? Without question. If you like historical fiction, this is one you shouldn’t miss. If not, give this a try. I tend not to care for it and I’m already tempted to go see what else Ms. Meissner has to offer.
This book was provided to me by Water Brook for the purpose of review. The opinions are mine.
To win a copy, leave a post and let me know if there’s an antique in your life that means or did mean a lot to you. Mine would be the phonograph I grew up with as a child. It now resides in the home of a collector, and I’m thrilled to know that someone who loves it has it. Congratulations, Challice!
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