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The Secret Keeper: A Novel of Kateryn Parr

Sandra Byrd

The Secret Keeper: A Novel of Kateryn Parr

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What she sees in secret, she may not tell. Mistress Juliana St. John is the lovely, forthright daughter of a prosperous knight's family. Though all expect her to marry the son of her late father's business partner, time and chance interrupt, sending her to the sumptuous but ... Read More

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What she sees in secret, she may not tell.

Mistress Juliana St. John is the lovely, forthright daughter of a prosperous knight's family. Though all expect her to marry the son of her late father's business partner, time and chance interrupt, sending her to the sumptuous but deceptive court of Henry VIII.

Sir Thomas Seymour, brother of the late Queen Jane, returns to Wiltshire to conclude his affairs with Juliana's father's estate and chances upon her reading as lector in the local church. He sees instantly that she would fit into the household of the woman he loves and wants most to please, Kateryn Parr. Juliana's mother agrees to have her placed with Parr for a season and Juliana goes, though reluctantly.

For she keeps a secret.

Juliana has been given the gift of prophecy, and in one vibrant vision she has seen Sir Thomas shredding the dress of a highly born young woman, while it was still on her body, to perilous consequence.

As Juliana accompanies Kateryn Parr to court, Henry's devout sixth queen raises the stakes for all reformers. Support of firebrand Anne Askew puts the queen and her ladies in life-threatening jeopardy, as does the queen's desire to influence her husband's--and the realm's--direction and beliefs. Later, without Henry's strong arm, the court devolves to competition, duplicity, and betrayal. The risks could not be higher as Juliana must choose between love and honor, personal fulfillment and sacrifice. Ultimately, her course is driven by a final kept secret, one that undoes everything she thought she knew.

Additional Information

  • Product type: Book
  • Format: Paper Back
  • Release Date: Jun 5, 2012
  • UPC: 9781439183144
  • Store Only: Yes
  • Volumes/Discs: 1
  • Pages: 331
  • Publish Date: Jun 5, 2012
  • BISAC: "FIC014000"
  • ISBN: 1439183147

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Redeemed beyond measure by Kathleen E. on 9/3/14
Rating

Wednesday, September 3, 2014
The Secret Keeper: A Novel of Kateryn Parr by Sandra Byrd, ©2012
Ladies in Waiting, Book 2

Kateryn Parr (b.1512-d.1548)
Sir Thomas Seymour seeks Hugh St. John to settle some business and comes upon his daughter, Juliana, as a lector at the church. Assured she would be just the one to serve as a confidante lady-in-waiting for his beloved Kateryn, her mother initially agrees to one year's service at court for her daughter.
Kateryn Parr has long been in love with Thomas, brother of late Queen Jane Seymour. Getting rid of his wives at whim, the King seeks to have Kate Parr as his next wife. Unknown to Henry VIII, she will be his last wife. King Henry VIII in failing health, the Court goes on without him ~ until he hears about it and has them beheaded. To the Tower is a command that doesn't return many. Desirous of keeping all the power himself, he is not overly pleased with the influx of reformers entering and promoting influences amid his reign. If only he had realized the true Queen he had, he would have had a much better outcome. He was swayed by opinion and pompous self-pride, on again ~ off again allegiance to Kate.
For all of his misleading, Thomas does indeed do a great service for Kate when bringing Juliana to court for her. She is a faithful friend and continues at court for the duration of Kate's life. Kate, in turn, is the mother figure Juliana unknowingly sought. Benevolence on both parts, they are valuable to each other's lives. Juliana has prophetic dreams that forewarn of coming events, even before she knew she was to be a part of the outcome.
Juliana tells the story as an observer and participant in the life of Queen Kateryn. She gives the Queen her complete attendance beyond a life of her own. Juliana is my very favorite character and I was overwhelmed with the acceptance she receives as she leaves court after the death of the Queen. Very satisfactory and a beloved friend. As a believer, she realizes she was never alone nor forsaken.
This Tudor story is very thorough and well-written of hidden times revealed within the private chambers. Although Juliana is fictional among the actual happenings portrayed, she stands out as the very needed member. Enjoy the rich stories told in the Ladies-in-Waiting series by Sandra Byrd. Further historical readings of Principal Works of Reference are included in the back of the novel. Also included is a Reading Group Guide and Author Q&A.

***Thank you to Author Sandra Byrd for this story and the opportunity to read and review The Secret Keeper. This review was written in my own words. No other compensation was received.***

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