The child of a scheming father and ruthless mother, Jane is born during a time when ambition dictates action. Cousin to Edward VI, Mary I, and Elizabeth I, she is merely a pawn in a political and religious game in which one false step means a certain demise. But Lady Jane has remarkable qualities that help her to withstand the constant pressures of the royal machinery far better than most expect.
Weir's striking novel sweeps readers back through the centuries to witness firsthand one of the most poignant tales from a time of constant scheming and power brokering.
©2007 Alison Weir; (P)2007 Recorded Books, LLC
"Weir proves herself deft as ever." (Publishers Weekly)
"Complex yet completely absorbing....A brilliantly vivid and psychologically astute novel." (Booklist)
I hated for it to end as I was completely involved in the imagery of the time and the lives that inhabited it. And, I knew what was coming so dreaded hearing it. I can't say how accurate a portrayal of Lady Jane's life it was as I've never read any other history about her but it felt plausible.
I was pleasantly surprised by this book. I am a lover of good historical fiction and this fit the bill. I found the diary format very effective, and the use of different narrators for the characters authoring the diary entries was brilliant. I loved the voices of all the narrators and felt they expertly captured the emotions and spirit of their individual characters.
The story begins time-wise near the chronological end of the book, therefore about 90 percent of the book is explaining how the characters got to that point. I was worried about this in the beginning, since the suspense of the book's ending is gone and the book will fail miserably if the story isn't engaging. However I was so engulfed in the story, I found myself forgetting I already knew the story's outcome. I also became so attached to the characters that I was hoping for an unrealistic plot twist at the end to change that outcome.
I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys historical fiction or simply a well executed audiobook.
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I love novels about this period and have persued them all from authors Plaidy to Gregory. This story of Jane Gray was well researched and written and filled in some blanks on the history and personalities of the era. Follow it with "The Virgin Queen's Daughter" for continuity
This book is very well written and the readers were excellent. I was sorry when it ended.
Narrative makes the world go round.
--but as a novel, it's far from the literary fiction category.
Weir makes so pretence of using literary devices other than modified epistolary format, and no literary devices are much better than the feeble ones usually found in historical fiction. The characters (even Lady Jane as a four year old and her moderately educated nurse) just speak by turns chronologically, journal style, in elegant modern prose.
Perhaps by avoiding awkward attempts to recreate period, Weir actually is more true to the period. She resolves the language divide from Tudor England better than most, opting for contemporary terminology rather than awkward dialogue, with archaic terms for medical and sexual words thrown in as a nod to the period (women awaiting their courses to see if a man's seed had quickened in her womb...). Dialogue is brisker than most historical fiction I've come across, with more historical info packed into it. It's mostly a standard view of history, even though it champions a woman's view through the heroine's eyes. The dialogue was pedantic at times as the historical information was related.
Thankfully, there is little graphic sex or violence or even bodice ripping. It's well narrated, too. The multiple-narrators style worked well here.
Overall, I found this an engrossing, easy listen, but not satisfying enough as a novel to rate more than 3 stars.
Fine art photographer, retired English professor, dog mom to an adorable Maltese mix, long-time Californian, genealogist, what else?
This book tells the sad -- tragic, even -- story of Lady Jane Grey, who was Queen of England for about a millisecond (nine days, actually). Weir does a wonderful job of giving us a fascinating look into the life of this intelligent and educated girl who wound up being a pawn of power-hungry, scheming people, in so many ways. In one sense, the story is almost unbelievable, but it really took place.
I enjoyed the performance greatly -- the only drawback is that with different voices, I sometimes felt momentarily confused about whom I was listening to. The transitions are marked by what could be openings of letters, as in an epistolary novel: "Lady Jane Grey, Windsor Castle, June 1542," but because I listen while driving, from time to time I missed one of those announcements and had to spend a while figuring out who the speaker was (if only the iPod allowed you to back up a little bit!!). But that's a relatively small matter, and after a while I could figure out who it was by listening to the speaker's voice -- they were generally pretty distinctive.
I highly recommend this book to lovers of historical novels, but even if you are not one of that ilk, give it a listen anyway. It's a historical story that's so suspenseful and tense, you'll enjoy it no matter what kind of book you like.
Glad to be part of the audible community and I hope that my reviews help to choose the right book and share my love of reading.
If you are into Tudor's history than this is the book for you. I couldn' t put my Ipod down... the story is well developed and you can easily identify with the characters. Narration is good, some of the narration is more like a "read", rather than a "performance", but still good. Did not regret the credit!!!
Since discovering audible, my life is richer. I live in a small rural KS community, with higher than average IQ which can be a bad combo at times. Audible allows me to be myself.
I felt every emotion possible listening to this book. I was totally drawn in to this story and character. I loved the book.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The narration was great, and I just couldn't put it down. A great look into a time that we cannot imagine; talk about women's rights! I highly recommend this book, great historical fiction.
I very much enjoyed this story. I've always been sympathetic towards the Lady Jane. Weir tells the story through the voices of each player convincingly with the possible exception of Jane as a small child, who speaks with wisdom beyond her years. This shouldn't put you off from the book, however, as it is such a small section and really innocuous. The story itself is a complicated one and the telling from each point of view gives it a lucidity I've not encountered in other tellings.
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