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Saturday, February 12, 2011

My review of Lady in Waiting by Susan Meissner.

With Valentine's Day right around the corner, I found this novel about love particularly fitting. I highly recommend it and hope you enjoy my review and get the book.

Lady in Waiting: A Novel

About the book:

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 influence over her life than she once imagined. It all comes down to the choices each makes despite the realities they face.

My review:

I read Lady in Waiting quickly and enjoyed how the story followed two separate but similar paths. There was an equal amount of intrigue and drama in both the modern story and the one set in the 1500s. Since I enjoy reading about marriage as well as reading about Tudor England, I was particularly drawn to this book. I found the parallels compelling in that both the historical Jane and the contemporary Jane felt like so many of the decisions that were made in their lives were outside of their control.

Meissner skillfully incorporated varying circumstances that allowed each of these women to see that they did indeed have choices and that those choices would determine how they lived their lives. I loved watching their empowerment grow, and experiencing what each Jane gained by that personal revelation. And while the circumstances in their lives didn't necessarily change, the beauty of the peace that they'd found in owning their choices outshone their difficulties.

The message about love being a choice was probably the most moving of all of themes found in this book. It's so true that we can't love a person, truly love them, and manipulate them at the same time. That is a one way street and a selfish way to love someone. In fact, it's not motivated by love at all but more likely motivated by fear or anxiety, or the need to feel in control. At any rate, I found the story enjoyable on many levels and was particularly fond of the message of choosing to love. Love, like forgiveness, is a choice.

Lady in Waiting was published by Waterbrook Press and released in Sept 2010. A review copy of this book was provided for me to read and post a review, but this action did not influence my opinion about this novel.


Martha A. said...

I really enjoyed this book too, of course I have enjoyed most of susan Meissner's books, but I loved how she interwove the historical with the modern. The Tudor history was very intriguing to me.

Carla Gade said...

Lady in Waiting sounds like an interesting book. Susan Meissner is quite a storyteller.

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