|Published February 19th 2013 by Open Road (first published January 1st 1974)
The Miracle at St Bruno's
The first book in Philippa Carr’s celebrated Daughters of Englandseries is at once a love story, a mystery, and an epic historical saga set during the tumultuous reign of Henry VIII.
In The Miracle at St Bruno’s, which is set during the turbulent reign of Henry VIII, Damask Farland is the cosseted daughter, protected and cherished by her parents. She grows up in a loving environment, slightly removed from the machinations of court life. Running alongside the story of domestic life in the mid-1500’s, is the story of Bruno, an abandoned child brought up in the cloistered environs of St Bruno’s Abbey, whose interwoven history will have repercussions, not just on those who live in the Abbey as Henry VIII sets out to destroy the Abbey’s wealth, but also on the Farland family.
I first read this book shortly after its first publication in 1974, I was then in my mid teens and devouring romantic historical fiction almost as fast as the books were published. Philippa Carr, Victoria Holt, aka as Jean Plaidy were amongst my favourite historical authors, so it was with this in mind, I picked up a copy of this reissued first book in the Daughter of England series, in the hope that their appeal would be everlasting. Maybe my perception of historical romance has altered with the passage of time, as sadly for me the appeal seems to have been lost. Overall, I found the story rather laboured, with little really happening for the first third of the story. However, there is no denying that the book has been well researched, and to some extent manages to capture the heady and challenging days of Tudor England with some unexpected twists and turns in the story, which add interest.
My thanks to NetGalley and Open Road for an ecopy of this book.