Book Review: Lady in Waiting *Winner Announced*

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!

If you have time, please visit the Blogging for Books website and rank my reviews.  I think it helps give me a wider variety of books to review in the future.  Thanks!


12 thoughts on “Book Review: Lady in Waiting *Winner Announced*

  1. I am fortunate to own the antique that holds meaning for me. It was my grandmother’s secretary desk with the fold down writing surface, drawers beneath and shelves above with glass doors over them. I even have the original key. I was always fascinated by this piece of furniture when I visited my grandparent’s house.

  2. An antique that holds meaning? Hmm, I own an antique school desk (the type they had in one room school houses where the seat folds down and the desk is in back that Sears and Roebucks made), my parents have an antique phone that my Grandfather purchased that my mom wanted to buy and they also have a floor model radio (both items I’ve told Mom I’d love, not sure where I’d put them in my house). But the item I think I cherish most is my Grandma’s family Bible — it’s been through a lot, was baked in a loaf a bread to keep it from being burnt. It really needs re-bound and someday I hope to accomplish that.

  3. I have a beautiful silver box that was my grandmother’s. Her brother was sentenced to prison at 16 years old for gambling. (Back in the late 20’s, early 30’s). He gave this box to his parents to hold his letters in while he was gone. He was shot in the back trying to escape prison a few years later- he wanted to be home for Christmas.

    Terrible story. A beautiful box. It’s silver plated with very fine, tiny engravings all over the lid.

    I hope I win!

  4. You know, we really don’t have any antiques around that are particularly meaningful. We have a few possessions that hold a lot of value for us, but none that are really antique-y.

    Sounds like a book I’d enjoy! Thanks for the review!

  5. Great review……. My grandparents were farmers and they didn’t have many “things” to pass on and certainly none of monetary value. I do have a very old quilt that my Granny made as well as her wooden (real wood!) jewlery box–she didn’t have jewlery, but kept important papers in it, letters from family, etc.. I use it in similar manner. Too fragile for use, I also have a pair of pillowcases that my Daddy embroidered when he was 12 (he’s 71 now)–and he taught me those same stitches when I was a young girl. While none of these things are antiques in the sense of value/money–there is great wealth in the memories associated with each item. 🙂

  6. I have an old vase that belonged to my great-grandmother. Quite honestly, it’s not my favorite as far as looks, but I keep in displayed because it reminds me of her (and I don’t generally just save things because they belonged to or were given by someone). It is very unique and I received a lot of positive remarks about it. So, it’s just not my taste. 🙂 I LOVE historical fiction and I recently read several things about Lady Jane Grey as I was preparing for my daughter’s history this year. (Some good. Some not so much.) This sounds fascinating. If I don’t win, I may have to get the book anyway.

  7. I have an old small beaded indian bracelet took after my Grandma died. All the big stuff was taken by the older Grandchildren, but I have been able to bring this along with me everywhere we moved. What a treasure.

  8. I inherited my mother’s old secretary desk after she died. I stripped off the paint and it was mahogany wood underneath! Beautiful!
    Mama had bought it from her Grandmother’s sale. (My great Grandmother.) No one knows where it came from before that!
    When we downsized and moved to our small house, I didn’t have room for it. So I sent it on to my oldest niece who loves old things!

  9. Interesting sounding book. Really interesting, in fact.

    I had almost no antiques until recently when my Grandmother had to move to assisted living. Now I treasure the “everyday” things I got from her—like the coverlet on my bed, the glasses we drank tea out of EVERY holiday growing up, and the milk-glass bowls that I’m scared to use because of my family’s history of breaking things. Since my Grandmother’s personality has changed due to Alzheimer’s I love these visual reminders of how things used to be . . . . .

  10. Pingback: Book Review: The Shape of Mercy *Win a FREE Copy* | Paradoxology

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