The Sumerton Women by D.L. Bogdan takes place during the reign of Henry VIII. The Tudor period is still by far my favorite time period to read about and this novel is exactly what I love about historical fiction! It was a fast and easy read for me and one I really enjoyed. D.L. Bogdan is a new author to me and I will certainly be looking into reading more of her work.
The beginning of the novel finds young Lady Cecily Burkhart hiding in her closet refusing to come out after the death of her parents to the sweating sickness. It is the young priest Father Alec who finally lures her out and explains to her that she will now be the ward of the Harold Pierce, the Earl of Sumerton. While Hal takes on Cecily as his ward because of bigger plans to marry her to his son Brey, he comes to truly care for her. His daughter Mirabella who from a young age wants to be a nun has mixed feelings towards Cecily from the beginning and Grace, his wife, is simply a troubled woman who turns to the drink to help her through her days.
Cecily is a happy girl who always tries to look on the bright side of things despite the harsh blows that life has dealt her already. She is happy in the Pierce household and when she learns she is to be betrothed to Brey, they are both happy about it. It seems though that happiness is not for Cecily to have and Brey passes at a young age. At this the Pierce household falls apart and Grace disappears and is thought to be dead and Mirabella finally enters the convent. Cecily is young and scared of what her future holds – will she end up the ward of someone else; someone not as kind as Hal. However Hal has his own plans and asks Cecily if she would consider marrying him and she accepts. Hal and his family are all she’s ever known and she trusts him.
Hal is a good man and treats Cecily well. They have children and all is well for a long time but there are still dark shadows lingering all around them. There is also the bond between Cecily and Father Alec that time and time again rears its head. From the first time they met they shared a special bond and it continues until it reaches a point where Father Alec’s vows as a priest are threatened. Father Alec is also the biggest problem that rests between Mirabella and Cecily. Despite her inclinations to serve God Mirabella is a very jealous woman and her actions throughout her life threaten to tear down several people and their lives.
I really enjoyed this take on the Tudor era. Cecily is a great character and one that you grow to love. She hasn’t had an easy life but she still carries on and makes the best of what she does have. I liked Father Alec as well and felt for him as he struggles with his love of God and his love for Cecily. Mirabella is one of those characters that you love to hate and yet I felt sorry for her. The author really draws you into the lives of these characters and you feel every triumph, sorrow and defeat they experience. Another thing I appreciated about this book is that Henry VIII is not the main character of the story. It was interesting to read about the coronation of Anne Boleyn through the eyes of Cecily and how the strife in the realm of King Henry affected all of its people. This is a well written historical novel that is sure to please!
I read The Sumerton Women by D.L. Bogdan for her book tour with Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours. Be sure to pop by and visit all the other tour stops. You can find D.L. Bogdan on her website as well as Facebook and Twitter. Your own copy of The Sumerton Women can be purchased here in the US and here in Canada.
I have one copy of The Sumerton Women by D.L. Bogdan up for giveaway to my readers and it’s open Internationally! To enter…
- For 1 entry simply leave me a comment entering the giveaway.
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This giveaway is open Internationally! I will draw for the winner on Saturday, May 19/12. Good luck!
Source: Review copy provided by Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours and Kensington Publishing. No compensation was received for this review and all opinions are my own.