Tuesday, December 20, 2011

My Review of To Die For

Looking for a great gift for a Tudor-era, historical-fiction lover?

Here's a description of the book from
Howard Books:

"To Die For, is the story of Meg Wyatt, pledged forever as the best friend to Anne Boleyn since their childhoods on neighboring manors in Kent. When Anne's star begins to ascend, of course she takes her best friend Meg along for the ride. Life in the court of Henry VIII is thrilling at first, but as Anne's favor rises and falls, so does Meg's. And though she's pledged her loyalty to Anne no matter what the test, Meg just might lose her greatest love—and her own life—because of it.

Meg's childhood flirtation with a boy on a neighboring estate turns to true love early on. When he is called to follow the Lord and be a priest she turns her back on both the man and his God. Slowly, though, both woo her back through the heady times of the English reformation. In the midst of it, Meg finds her place in history, her own calling to the Lord that she must follow, too, with consequences of her own. Each character in the book is tested to figure out what love really means, and what, in this life, is worth dying for.

Though much of Meg's story is fictionalized, it is drawn from known facts. The Wyatt family and the Boleyn family were neighbors and friends, and perhaps even distant cousins. Meg's brother, Thomas Wyatt, wooed Anne Boleyn and ultimately came very close to the axe blade for it. Two Wyatt sisters attended Anne at her death, and at her death, she gave one of them her jeweled prayer book—Meg."

My Rating: Spring/Summer

My Review:

A unique and thought-provoking perspective, engaging characters, and steady pacing - all woven together with pieces of history - make To Die For a well-written and meaningful story. This is wonderful historical fiction, dressed in just the right combination of color and spunk and practicality.

The name of Henry VIII has quite a few negative connotations. But this take on the rather infamous story of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn is engaging and even creates some sympathy for some seemingly unsympathetic characters. It's classic and yet new - an age-old fabric displayed in a trendy design.

False appearances and fanciful desires war with the realities of selfishness and unrequited love. Danger wears a charming mask. And through it all God's perfect timing is the necessary thread that binds this tale of romance, faith, and consequences together into one grand showpiece. To Die For is full of pain and grief as patience wears thin and masks are ripped away - but it delivers a satisfying story that has much to offer fans of historical fiction. A lovely, albeit tragic, read!

*With thanks to author Sandra Byrd and the publisher for providing me with a copy of the book in exchange for my honest opinion.*

2 comments:

Faye said...

Lovely review, I liked how even through the pain it didn't end tragically :) Thanks Amber.

Amber S. said...

Faye,

Thank you! I agree - the author did a great job of showing the tragedy and yet maintaining hope throughout the story. :)

~Amber