Thursday, November 11, 2010

THE COUNTESS AND THE KING by Susan Holloway Scott

Publisher: Nal
Date published: September 2010
ISBN: 978-0451231154
Historical Fiction
Reviewed by Valerie
Obtained by publisher

This is the story of the Countess of Dorchester and King James II.

Katherine Sedley had a rather unconventional upbringing. Born into a wealthy family, her mother thought she was a queen and was sent to a nunnery. Her father was one of many rakes of the time and he often took Katherine with him on his visits to his friends, to educate Katherine in the ways of the world and to hopefully secure her a good husband. He always insisted she marry for love. He refuses to let her be at court, but when the Duke of York invites Katherine to his house, she doesn’t refuse. Twice she was disappointed in love. She is plain but very rich. She soon becomes the Duke of York’s mistress and it seems he really does care for her. For all her plainness, she has a wicked mouth and is not afraid to speak the truth. But, the Duke of York becomes King James II and life is soon a quick-step between staying a favourite or ending on the chopping block.

I love history, especially British history and not only because I am British. So, when I got this book to read and review, I was delighted. This delight stayed with me from the first page until the last. I was quite fascinated by the people and life of this time. Ms Scott obviously researched diligently and colorfully painted the people and their lives in this entertaining novel. We get to know Katherine, her youth, her wit and we find out that she is different than the other women of her time. She is more educated due to her father taking her to the theatre and sitting and listening to him and his friends. I felt like a fly on the wall while reading this story and I was happy to take a trip back in time and live the life of Katherine Sedley. I hope you will pick this book up and take a trip back to seventeenth-century London.

This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.

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