Original Books

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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Lady in Waiting by Susan Meissner

Jane Lindsay never thought her husband of twenty plus years would leave her. But now he has announced that he is moving out to take another job several states away, in order to give them some space. As Jane tries to figure out where their marriage went wrong, she finds solace in discovering the past behind a ring with her name inscribed on it, which she found in the pages of an old prayer book. She discovers the story of Lucy Day, a dressmaker for Lady Jane Grey, who held the throne of England for less than two weeks. Even though Jane Lindsay tries to numb the situation with her husband, she cannot hide forever and will soon have to face the truth.
Susan Meissner has continued her new trend of writing past\present plots with Lady in Waiting. She has departed from the average historical account by discovering an obscure tale to write about. She combines this with an above-average present plot to make for an interesting read. However, Susan could still use some help with her ends.
Jane and her husband are both well-developed characters and are both at fault for their separation. As the book progresses, the reader discovers more and more how these two characters' choices drove them to where they are at the beginning of the novel. The characters in the past could be better than they are, but they are not unbearable. There are no real villains in particular, making for an interesting and ambiguous read. All in all, the characters are good, but not great.
The problem with a marriage trouble\separation plot is the inevitability of the end. There are really only two options, and Susan chose the more predictable, though it could have been worse than it was. There was one element of the past plot that Susan could not avoid being that it is historical fact. However, Susan took liberty to add unoriginal elements to the past plot. However, these issues are not something dwell on, since they can be easily forgotten in the light of other original elements, such as key character deaths.
While this book cannot be five stars, it is nonetheless an enjoyable book to read. Susan Meissner clearly knows what she is doing as an author.

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