Born with the face of an angel, Marget Barnardsen is blessed. Her father is a knight, and now she is to be married to the Earl of Lytham. her destiny is guaranteed...at least, it would seem so. But when her introduction to court goes awry and Queen Elizabeth despises her, Marget fears she's lost her husband forever. Desperate to win him back, she'll do whatever it takes to discover how she failed and capture again the love of a man bound to the queen.
As a history major, historical fiction is a guilty pleasure for me. Many of my fellow classmates who are PhD bound tend to see historical fiction as splurges that are not worth the effort. I disagree because I feel that GOOD historical fiction can help people understand history more and help to garner more interest in the subject. It's interesting because even though I am an American history focus, I really love British history possibly due to my love of all things British. It might also have to do with the fact that American history also has its roots in British history so it's really all tied together. Either way, it's just good stuff and I love reading it.
I really have enjoyed Siri Mitchell's chick lit books and I've read one of her other historicals. Even though the books are totally different, they are written wonderfully. They are so full of detail and the story line is fully developed. At first it's a bit confusing at the switching of view points between Marget and Lytham because there's not really an obvious break between the two thoughts. However once you get into the meat of the story, it just begins to flow.
I've watched several movies about Queen Elizabeth and it's amazing how she's portrayed in this book as a jealous, conniving old woman who's wants control of everyone around her. I felt so bad for Marget who from the beginning found disfavor from the Queen simply because of the way she looked. Then she had to give in to all the beauty requirements which were really harmful and deadly to the women who were using them. It's interesting how much effort was put to appease vanity. The whole book is just Marget loving her husband even though it can lead to disaster. For some reason, I kept picturing Colin Firth as Lytham. I think it might have to do with him being in the movie Shakespeare in Love which takes place during the same time period but also because Lytham has sort of a Darcy attitude around him. Either way, he was quite a complex character who is afraid to love and is wary of trusting a woman again.
The historical research for this book is well done. You really feel as if you have been transported to Elizabethan England. I could picture the court, the costumes, the culture of the times. It's just a sweeping novel. I would not even classify this book as Christian fiction even though it's from a Christian publisher. Honestly, it is just a really wonderful historical fiction book that takes the reader into the story and transports them back to another time and era. And isn't the cover of the book just gorgeous? This book helps to explain why Siri Mitchell is one of my favorite authors. HIGHLY recommended.
A Constant Heart by Siri Mitchell is published by Bethany House (2008)
This ARC was provided by the publisher