Tuesday, April 11, 2017

The Tapestry

I decided to read Nancy Bilyeau's The Tapestry for the Historical Fiction Reading Challenge after finding it at my public library.  It is a novel of Tudor England.

The story opens with Joanna Stafford, an ex-novice nun of a Dominican Order that was destroyed by King Henry VIII, vowing to live a quiet life weaving tapestries as a home business.  However, the king hears about her talent and summons her to his court to make a tapestry for him.  When she arrives an unknown assailant tries to kill her and the noblemen at court use her to further their plots.  Joanna finds that her friend Catherine Howard is present at court and is a favorite of the king while he tires from being married to his 4th wife Anne of Cleves.  Joanna becomes involved in court politics which she had tried to avoid but could not.

After reading this book I found out that it is the third novel in a series involving Joanna Stafford.  Of course, I now have to read the first 2 because The Tapestry was an engrossing story.  While I felt that the beginning was slow the author was probably introducing alot of background information from the earlier novels.  The story quickly picked up and I could not put it down.  I read it in one sitting.

The author provides a fascinating insight into the religious passions and politics of the era.  She shows the difficulties of being Catholic in a Reformed era with characters who have been displaced from the destroyed priories and monasteries by Henry VIII.

I highly recommend this book and give it 5 out of 5 stars.  It was a fabulous read.

1 comment:

  1. Oh, I just hate it when I read a book and found out after I've started that its part of a series! Never mind! This does sound good but I do find that there are far too many books about Tudor England, and frankly, the subject seems like a dead horse that is constantly being beaten. Mind you, finally focusing on someone outside of all those wives and relatives of those wives does sound refreshing.