Release Date: 05/15/12
Synopsis from goodreads.com:
In the court of King Henry VIII, nothing is free--
and love comes at the highest price of all.
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's 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.
My thoughts on the book:
Well, this book was okay. It wasn't the best historical fiction I've ever read, though. Longshore clearly did her research, but she didn't deviate much from said research. She took no creative license with these people's lives whatsoever. At least she didn't do anything that hadn't already been done. The idea was intriguing: Catherine Howard, promiscuous queen and Anne Boleyn's cousin, told through the eyes of her chambermaid. However, the story itself just fell flat. I didn't really like any of the characters, and I already know how crappy court life is. I wanted something new, and unfortunately, I didn't get it.
The characters in Gilt are either doormats or extremely vile. Neither option appealed to me. Sure, Kitty stands up for herself at the end, but overall, she was a complete doormat. She seriously needed to grow a spine. And Cat? Why would you cheat on the man who already beheaded your cousin? Are you stupid or just crazy? Because seriously, no one in her right mind would do that. And by being so careless, Cat put herself and everyone who associated with her at risk. Needless to say, I didn't feel like it was any great loss when her head got chopped off.
There's really not as much of a love triangle as the synopsis suggests, and while I generally don't like love triangles that much, it would have at least added some excitement to the book. This novel just wasn't that suspenseful to me. I'm assuming I wasn't kept on the edge of my seat because I already knew what happened to Cat. If Longshore had brought something new to the table, I think I would have been much more invested in the plot. As it stands, the story dragged quite a bit for me and it took me several tries to actually get through the book.
Longshore's writing is top notch, though. I really enjoyed her wording, for the most part, and I felt that the story flowed well. She got a little modern colloquial at times, but in general, the writing was quite good. The pacing was okay, but, as I stated above, the book did drag for me some. However, I think the dragging came from boredom more than pacing.
Overall, I'd read another book by Longshore, definitely. I enjoyed her writing style. I would not read another Tudor book by her, though. This isn't because the book is bad, it's just because I already knew the story. If she wrote something contemporary, then I'd absolutely read it. I'd recommend this book to historical fiction buffs (I like some historical fiction, but it's not my favorite) and people who do not know the story of Catherine Howard. If you know much about the Tudors, this novel may bore you.
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