Katherine by Anya Seton

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If England in the 1300’s is your kind of historical fiction, then this might be the novel for you. This is the story of Katherine Swynford and Duke John of Gaunt, who produce a family line that eventually turns into Tudor royalty.

Katherine was a likable enough character – as a younger character, she was full of like and zest. She was also religious and usually had pretty strong morals. She’s forced into marrying disgusting Hugh Swynford, and later falls in love with John. As an older character, she kind of over-shadowed herself in her love for John. John as a character left something to be desired, but his love for Katherine and his children was strong.

My one problem with this book is that it didn’t have one real “voice”. The point of view switches (on a sentence to sentence basis) between an unnamed narrator, Katherine, John, and various other secondary characters. The book was also a little heavy on the descriptions sometimes. One chapter started with 5 paragraphs of scenery and weather before even mentioning any characters.

Overall though, this was an enjoyable read and informative. From all that other reviews that I’ve seen, it’s also one of the more historically accurate books for the time period. (Though it should be noted that I didn’t do any fact-checking myself).

Sarah Says: 3 stars

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