Wednesday, February 02, 2011
Review: Lady in Waiting
Writing a novel within a novel is a serious challenge. So many times one story line or the other suffers. In Lady In Waiting, Susan Meissner hits the perfect balance -- in a manner similar to her Shape of Mercy.
Jane Lindsay finds a ring inside the binding of an antique prayer book. The ring is beautiful, but when she sees an inscription on the inside with her name, she becomes enthralled with finding out the history of the ring. And when she learns the ring is between 350 and 400 years old, the English Jane's that it could have belonged to seems to narrow. What will she learn from Jane's story that will help her as she tries to navigate the troubled waters of a separation she didn't ask for or want?
Lucy Day finds herself assigned to be the dressmaker for the young Lady Jane Grey. The two become friends as the years unfold and their lives intertwine. A girl caught between power hungry groups, Lady Jane seems to have no choices or voice.
This book is lyrical in writing and pacing. The story is captivating, not in small part because of the way tension heightens when one story pauses so the other can proceed. And the layers add a depth to the story that I've come to expect from Susan Meissner's writing. Beautiful from beginning to end.