Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Spanish Bride: A Novel of Catherine of Aragon by Laurien Gardner

This novel is narrated by Estrella de Montoya, her trusted maid of honor. Estrella or Lita, as she is sometimes called, starts her story with the journey from Spain to England. Estrella then stays with Catherine through her marriage to Arthur. Then, after he dies, she recounts Catherine's horrible conditions as marriage negotiations go back and forth between Henry VII and Ferdinand. Catherine never gives up hope, but others do.
Estrella manages to give us a details into her life, as well as Catherine's. Estrella finds affection, loses it, and then finds something that could be defined as love, as it heartbroken by it. Refusing to be the mistress to the most eligible betrothed man, Piers Hilsey, Estrella is heartbroken.
Estrella then recounts the terror that grips her and Catherine over Anne Boleyn. Catherine's life almost returns to the days of before, during betrothal negotiations.

This book is well written. I loved Estrella. I was so upset when she left Piers, and was heartbroken for her. I also loved how the book was about Catherine, but not dominated by Catherine. Splendid.
I also don't know how accurate the book is. Catherine is constantly pressed by Chapyus to throw her hand in with the Northerners and declare war. She refuses. I don't know how accurate that is.
Great book 4.5 stars.

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