Immediately upon reading the back cover of Lady in Waiting I knew I would have a connection to its main character, Jane Lindsay. This year, 2011, will mark my 22nd anniversary of marriage. Honestly, based on that fact alone I was leery of reading the book, for fear of seeing too much of my own life within the pages. Thankfully, this was not the case. While Jane and I are approximately the same age and in the same life stage, I'm happy to report that my marriage is not in crisis.
That said, this book remained poignant for me, as it did give me cause to evaluate my life. I'm glad I read it. Susan Meissner is an excellent storyteller, the fictionalized retelling of the factual life of Lady Jane Grey was most intriguing. I appreciated Meissner's admiration for the 16th Century noble; her authentic recreation of the period and her skillful weaving of the modern day into the narrative.
I have read a lot of books by authors whose endings are neat and trite. Lady in Waiting is not one of those stories. While the ending is a hopeful one, it is not all neatly tied up in a sweet little package. Life is messy, and Meissner allows her characters to live in that messiness.
I would highly recommend this book, both to modern day and historical fiction lovers as it skillfully bridges the gap between the two. Meissner was an unknown to me. I intend to get to know her work better in the future.
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