30. July 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Courtney, Historical Fiction, Teen Books

Tarnish by Katherine Longshore, 448 pages, read by Courtney, on 07/05/2013

Longshore’s first book, Gilt, imagined the life of the doomed Catherine Howard (wife number 5 out of 6 for Henry VIII)through the eyes of her friend, Kitty. Her new book, Tarnish, goes back a little bit in history to focus on Howard’s more notorious cousin, Anne Boleyn. As I have a weakness for Tudor-era England, both of these books appealed to me greatly. Anne is, in particular, one of my favorite historical characters, but I have to admit that my knowledge of her life is more or less restricted to her life *after* meeting Henry. Longshore has the reader get to know Anne long before she becomes one of history’s tragedies. Anne is every bit as petulant as we might imagine. She is outspoken and headstrong, much to her father and brother’s chagrin. A life in court seems to be the most Anne could possibly hope for before she is forced to resign herself to a business-like marriage contract. Since Anne’s sister, Mary, is already at court, it is only a matter of time before Anne makes her mark. Little does she realize that the very features that drive her father crazy are the same features that will charm a king and change England forever.
The pacing of this book is considerably slower than in “Gilt”, particularly because this is not yet the Anne that we’ve come to know and love (or despise, depending on your perspective). We can easily see glimpses of the woman that will give birth to a queen, but we also have to get to know her as an awkward and emotional teenaged girl.

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