When Kitty Tylney's best friend, Catherine Howard, worms her way into King Henry VIII's heart and brings Kitty to court, she's thrust into a world filled with fabulous gowns, sparkling jewels, and elegant parties. No longer stuck in Cat's shadow, Kitty is now caught between two men - the object of her affection and the object of her desire. But court is also full of secrets, lies, and sordid affairs, and as Kitty witnesses Cat's meteoric rise and fall as queen, she must figure out how to keep being a good friend when the price of telling the truth could literally be her head.
©2012 Katherine Longshore (P)2012 Penguin
I am an adult who loves a good YA read---but really I just love an engrossing story. If it pulls me in and I can't stop reading-I'm happy!
Look at that cover... it intrigued me, I must say. Knowing nothing about this book but the cover I purchased it... Like chosing your present for Christmas based on the packaging I guess...but I digress.
Gilt, tells the story of the fifth wife of King Henry VIII, Cat, from the point of view of her friend, Kitty Tylney. The two girls were raised together from the age of six in the household of the Duchess of Norfolk. Cat is beautiful, popular and selfish, and lords over the rest of the girls at the school. Kitty is not that pretty and less outgoing... but considers being taken under Cat's wing/being Cat's best friend an honor. She is very greatful to her and considers her family----and ultimately would do anything for her.
While definitly part romance---at it's core this book is a coming-of-age story. It is about Kitty realizing who she is and wants to be. And how choices have consequences.
This is told with modern language---which didn't bother me in the least---but is definitly of note.
My annoyance with this book comes with how Cat piles onto Kitty... and Kitty just takes it. I understand that there is nothing that Kitty can do about it---since Cat is her superior in birth/rank... but, the modern language..... I can't put my finger on it. But it's annoying. Because I want Kitty so badly to defend herself.
I would read another in this series. In particular I want the author to expand on what happens to Kitty at the end.
The reader was fabulous! And the story was fun! I'm not normally a Historical Fiction fan but this book made me learning history fun.
William was a fun romance and Kitty was a fabulous main character.
Probably Cat (Catherine Howard). She played her snobby character quite well.
The story kept me very interested and wondering what would happen next which is hard to do with a true to history topic.
The author is wonderful. Her wrighting stile is much better than many other books I read. She just had the tuch for her Kitty. However, two things bothered me:
1. The facts which she used in the novel about Kittie's life do not match the facts I know. I won't list these facts here, because I feel it would spoil the book and I am not up to it.
2. Kittie began to grow up... But then she grue up pritty ocwardly. In the end, she refused all help and set out alone. She is optimistic, but a woman- espeshally in the 16th century- could hardly dair to contemplate such a thing. Society wouldn't let her!
The narrator is perfect. I really loved listening to her. And carichtors are very well presented (not only Cat.) They simply came to life for me: Cat, Alice, John, Mary, the duchess, Edmond, William, Thomas and sometimes even the king. If ms. Longshore will publish a second novel, I'll be among the first to read it and give an honest review.
I have not had an opportunity to read the print version.
The realization that Kitty and Cat made, at different moments in the book, that being a part of the royal court was not the wonderful experience that they invisoned as younger girls was memorable and gave the story depth.
My favorite character was Jennifer Ikeda's portrayal of Catherine Howard. She struck the right tone between the biting dismissiveness that she sometimes displayed, the innocence at being thrust into court, and the childlike insolence that she had when she didn't get her way.
I generally prefer historical fiction. I found this book interesting and enjoyable. It offered interesting layers to one of Henry VII's wives who is normally portrayed as just an adultress.
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