February 1, 2011

Modern AND Historical Fiction in One Great Book

I recently received another free book from the Blogging for Books program that I recently joined through Multnomah Press.

Lady in Waiting, written by author Susan Meissner, is the story of two Janes.

The first, Jane Lindsey, is an antiques dealer living in Manhattan.  She and her husband Brad have been comfortably married for 22 years, and they have a son who has just left for college.  As Jane settles into life as an empty-nester, her world suddenly falls apart when Brad leaves her and moves away, leaving her to deal with the shock of his leaving and trying to deal with her overbearing mother.  In the midst of these trials, she receives a new shipment of antiques from England.  Buried deep in the box she discovers an old ring that has been trapped in the spine of an ancient book.  Inside the ring she finds the name Jane delicately engraved.

From here the story begins its journey with the Lady Jane Grey, a young aristocrat from 16th century England.  This portion of the story is narrated by her dressmaker, Lucy, and details the story of her life with the joys and sorrows that came with being part of the aristocracy.  The ring, of course, belongs to her.

This story seamlessly weaves back and forth between the 16th and 21st centuries, the ring symbolically gliding through both strands. Although the story is set in two vastly different times and places, both Janes find themselves living and dealing with circumstances that seem to be beyond their control, but the emotions and heartaches and even the joys, are as old as time.  But are they really out of their control?

In each section of this book I found myself not wanting to leave that particular strand.  I fought not to skip ahead to the next section to see what happened.  However, as soon as I'd start, I was instantly captured again as the story moved to the other century.  Beautifully written, the story is filled with rich, wonderful details from history to make Lady Jane Grey come alive.  

I have always been a fan of historical fiction, and I was intrigued by the concept of having the old with the new.  This book definitely did not disappoint!  If anything, contrasting our current world with the old only made each story stronger, showing the timelessness of what each woman was going through.

This was the first book by Susan Meissner that I have read, but it definitely won't be the last!

Please stop by the Blogging for Books website and leave me a comment!

1 comment:

Becky said...

What a great review. I really can't wait to read it. Sounds wonderful!