Saturday 27 August 2011

The Girl in the Mirror by Sarah Gristwood...

I've had this book sitting on my book shelf for a couple of months since its publication in June 2011 - so in between review books I thought that I would give myself a treat, and read Sarah Gristwood's first novel.

I've been a fan of her historical biographies, and have two of her books which I dip into from time to time....
  • Arbella: England's Lost Queen
  • Elizabeth & Leicester: Power,Passion, Politics

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
jaffa's rating 5paws

It's so refreshing to have a book about Elizabethan England that doesn't focus entirely upon Elizabeth the Queen.

This book follows the fortunes of Jeanne Musset. Orphaned, and forced to flee the Low Countries as a small child, Jeanne lives her early life in London, disguised as a boy. As an adult, her exceptional talent for drawing botanical specimens will take her into the circle of the charismatic Earl of Essex, whose own meteoritic rise to glory is about to come to an end.

Beautifully written, this book evokes all the sights and sensations of the last few years of Elizabeth's reign - when to be young, talented and female was sometimes a price to much too pay.

Sarah Gristwood has used her knowledge of the Tudor period to create a strong story, with believable characters, and a real sense of time and place.

I look forward to her next novel.

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