I’m a sucker for historic fiction. Lady in Waiting by Susan Meissner does not disappoint. With a clear handle on history, a vivid imagination and loads of emotion, the author brings Jane Grey to life in this unique and heart wrenching story.
It’s not enough to know what a historical figure feels or thinks. That’s been done so many times before. Susan Meissner applies a different strategy, exposing this intriguing character through the eyes of Lucy Day, her fictional dressmaker. How Lucy feels about Jane tells so much more about this character and adds depth to the story in a fantastic way.
The reader doesn’t start in the past though. This book begins it’s journey with Jane Lindsay, a present day antique dealer with a shop in Manhattan. The first section is told in her voice and we learn that she is dealing with a failing marriage and business pressures when her international assistant sends some newly acquired antiques her way including a
prayer book and rosary that belonged to a Jane as well as a ring which has been carefully embedded in the spine of the book.
This begins a mystery and the weaving of past and present as we meet Lucy Day and discover the connections she has to
the prayer book, rosary, and more importantly Jane Grey.
I was hooked into the story very quickly. My fascination for British royalty kept me glued to the page.
This book has two story lines which tie together well remaining somewhat separate. Of the two story lines I preferred Lucy. Her perspective of Lady Jane was heartfelt and connected me emotionally to history, which I loved. I think the historical aspect is truly this author’s strength and so I could have read an entire novel about Lucy alone.
There are discussion questions in the back of the book which are great. If you have a book club, don’t miss these questions. They are really great questions.
I not only recommend this book, I’ve shared my personal copy with others. I truly enjoyed this book and believe others will as well.
Like to try before you buy? Read the sample here.