This long telling of the Grey sisters trauma at the hands of Elizabeth I was engrossing as well as an emotional read. I did know a good bit about these sisters, having read other books recently but this one went into much more depth and juxtapositions of Elizabeth versus anything that was threatening.
What I got from this very well written story was that Elizabeth's terrors and anxieties put her at odds with almost everyone from time to time, reminding me of our own political landscapes I suspect.
The book ended sort of upbeat, although we know that despite having a pension and owning a house, Mary Grey only have several years of freedom and never again lived with Thomas Keyes. Did she communicate with him in letters prior to his death? I hope so and the book portrayed it that way.
Jane Grey's tragic story is known to most and that was the shorter part of the book, which makes sense. Jane was portrayed as being a "saint" and a "martyr" and surely was fanatically religious; that fact consoled a bit for the manner of her death, as she was not terrified.
The part of the book that tells of the life of Catherine Grey had a lot of depth, which also makes sense as she lived a fuller life. Did she die because she was depressed and anorexic or as other chroniclers indicate also have consumption, if so she may have been infected from Lady Jan Seymour her sister in law.
Married first to Henry Herbert at 13 she was back at court at the age of perhaps 14. Her cousin Queen Mary was kind to her and kinder to her mother Frances Brandon Grey than Elizabeth I was.
Catherine Grey was beautiful and according to Philippa Gregory, she was the darling of the people of Britain when she was imprisoned.
Her imprisonment was for marrying without the Queen's consent and she and her spouse and her two young sons paid dearly for their relationship. Elizabeth I was , indeed, a horrible person as her cousins ( Especially Mary Grey) said often.
I received this book from NetGalley for a review and I feel it was excellent, although I greatly missed an "author's note" , which was not in this ARC. It was an emotional read and quite engrossing. Recommended to all who appreciate this era.