Eliza Rose by Lucy Worsley
|Eliza Rose by Lucy Worsley|
|Reviewer: Jill Murphy|
|Summary: Perfectly pitched Tudor story following a relatable heroine and also the sad story of Katherine Howard. Perfect for tweens to teens.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 368||Date: April 2016|
|External links: Author's website|
Eliza's family isn't as wealthy as it once was. And she is well aware that her duty is to marry well in order to repair the Camperdowne fortunes. To this end, Eliza is sent from her family home at Stoneton Castle to Trumpton Hall, to be educated in the ways of noble ladies. Here, she meets the infamous Katherine Howard while she too is still a young girl. And from there, it's on to the Tudor court of Henry VIII, who is currently married to Anne of Cleves.
We know it doesn't end well for Katherine. But how does it end for Eliza?
I don't know about you, but I love Lucy Worsley on the TV. She illuminates history, is funny and friendly, and nothing ever seems dry or dusty in her hands. So I had high hopes for Eliza Rose. A new writer of historical fiction for young people is always welcome. And you'll be glad to know that I wasn't disappointed. It's a thoroughly enjoyable read, it really is.
Eliza herself is a winning central character, with enough about her to appeal to twenty-first century readers but not so anachronistic in her thoughts and motivations that the story loses credibility. She starts out spoiled and selfish and snobbish, but gradually gains empathy and maturity as she travels through the story, sees how other classes live, and comes to understand the pressures on women of her own class, especially poor Katherine.
And, as you'd expect, the historical detail is exceptional. Tudor England rises from the pages in rich and vivid descriptions and I found the book utterly immersive. Telling Katherine Howard's story through Eliza's eyes means that the reader has two female characters to understand and identity with but also that there is some tension about what will happen at the end. The prose is straightforward and accessible but not at all dumbed down and Worsley keeps up a bracing pace throughout.
Eliza Rose will prove a satisfying, rewarding and illuminating story for tween and teen readers. There are some mature themes but these are handled sensitively and delicately and are nothing to worry the parents. I hope this story does well, because I would like to see more like this from Worsley. Please nicely!
You can read more book reviews or buy Eliza Rose by Lucy Worsley at Amazon.co.uk.
You can read more book reviews or buy Eliza Rose by Lucy Worsley at Amazon.com.
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