St. Martin’s Griffin
Rating: 5 Stars
Mistress Mary Shelton is Queen Elizabeth’s favorite ward, enjoying every privilege the position affords. The queen loves Mary like a daughter, and, like any good mother, she wants her to make a powerful match. The most likely prospect: Edward de Vere, Earl of Oxford. But while Oxford seems to be everything the queen admires: clever, polished and wealthy, Mary knows him to be lecherous, cruel, and full of treachery. No matter how hard the queen tries to push her into his arms, Mary refuses.
Instead, Mary falls in love with a man who is completely unsuitable. Sir John Skydemore is a minor knight with little money, a widower with five children. Worst of all, he’s a Catholic at a time when Catholic plots against Elizabeth are rampant. The queen forbids Mary to wed the man she loves. When the young woman, who is the queen’s own flesh and blood, defies her, the couple finds their very lives in danger as Elizabeth’s wrath knows no bounds.
My ThoughtsQueen Elizabeth's Daughter, while one book, tells the stories of two women; Queen Elizabeth I and her ward, Mary Shelton.
Surprising, though the story does indeed feature Queen Elizabeth, it is the character of the lesser known Mary, that is truly allowed to shine as the "driving force" behind the novel's complex plot.
Following Mary from the time that she first comes to Elizabeth as an orphan at age 3, through her childhood, service to the queen, and culminating at Elizabeth's death. Queen Elizabeth's Daughter, allows readers an intimate look into both the queen's heart and mind, as we see her be the mother to Mary that she would never get to be to children of her own.
Mary is written as a very strong character whose tenacity and resourcefulness rivals that of Elizabeth. As Mary ages, readers discover that though she is indeed Queen Elizabeth's creation, she is not one to let her life be overtaken by her sovereign's desires.
Determined to balance love for Sir John Skydemore with her duties to "crown and country", Mary is soon forced to choose between to love of the only mother she has ever known and the love of the man who holds her heart.
This is a wonderfully written tale, that while brimming with the lies, deceit, plots, and scheme s that make novels of the historical genre great, is built upon interpersonal relationships that are often overlooked when the whole of history is explored.
The Queen's Daughter provides readers with a most intriguing viewpoint on what it means to be a mother, a daughter, and the daughter of a queen.
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About the AuthorAnne Clinard Barnhill has been writing or dreaming of writing for most of her life. For the past twenty years, she has published articles, book and theater reviews, poetry, and short stories. Her first book, AT HOME IN THE LAND OF OZ, recalls what it was like growing up with an autistic sister. Her work has won various awards and grants. Barnhill holds an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. Besides writing, Barnhill also enjoys teaching, conducting writing workshops, and facilitating seminars to enhance creativity. She loves spending time with her three grown sons and their families. For fun, she and her husband of thirty years, Frank, take long walks and play bridge. In rare moments, they dance.
For more information, please visit Anne Clinard Barnhill’s website. You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter.