Monday, January 25, 2010

Her Mother's Daughter: A Novel of Queen Mary Tudor by Julianne Lee

Mary Tudor had a very hard life as a child.  First she was the object of her father's, King Henry VIII affection.  Then cast out as a illegitimate child with her mother Catherine of Aragon.  She went from Princess to Lady and was to be re-trained to accept her new rank and the new religion. 
When Henry married Jane, Mary was finally returned to the Castle and reunited with her father but still as a Lady not a princess.  Before his death, Henry VIII reinstated Mary as princess and was to be queen in the event that her half brother Edward VI died.  Edward carried forth the new religion at the bidding of his counsel and the practice of Catholicism was outlawed, even for Mary.
Mary defied this order however and was threatened by Edwards council.  The threats turned out empty and eventually, when the ailing Edward died, she became Queen Mary.  She vowed to return England to the old faith. 
Today, Queen Mary is often referred to as Bloody Mary because of all the burnings of so called heretics in her land.  Julianne Lee wrote this book in an attempt to humanize Mary and show her point of view.  She succeeded in this.  She brought Mary to life.  We got to see how hard her up bring was and her continued devotion to her faith even when her life was threatened for it. 
The opening of the story was some modern day children at a slumber party.  One of the kids is dared to stare into a mirror and repeat the words "bloody Mary".  This summons Mary and she recalls her life in flashback fashion.  Each chapter begins with her narration and the falls into third person narration.  This technique worked for me but I didn't care for the modern day slumber party scene.  It made me think of a "B" movie from the 10970's.  LOL!
Julianne Lee also focuses on Mary's devote religious beliefs which was important to the story but seemed to drag on a bit for me.  I got the point, now let's move on a bit.  That said, most of the parts of this novel were first rate.  Lee succeeds in bring Queen Mary Tudor to life and gains some of the reader's sympathy for her.
This is the first book by Julianne Lee that I have read but I am interested in reading more by her.


  1. Very interesting book - I hadn't heard about the slumber party aspect, sounds kinda cheesy to me. This will still make it on my TBR. Great review!

  2. Dolleygurl, thanks! It is a good read overall.

  3. I just finished this one about a week ago but I still have to get my review up. Good review!

  4. Robinbird, thanks! I hope you enjoyed it.