Sunday, March 18, 2012

Lady In Waiting by Susan Meissner

Antiques dealer Jane Lindsay was a contented wife, married—happily, she thought—for twenty-two years. But everything changed when her husband, Brad, walked out. He swore it wasn’t an affair; he said he just needed some time to himself to decide if their marriage is worth saving.

While Jane, feeling powerless and bewildered, waits for him to make a decision, she finds an antique gold ring set with sapphires, rubies, and diamonds with the name Jane and a Latin inscription engraved inside the band. She feels an instant, inexplicable, connection to it and sets out to trace its history back to the original owner and discovers that it is a betrothal ring that belonged to a noblewoman in Tudor England.

The story then shifts back to 1548 when dressmaker Lucy Day is sent to outfit Lady Jane Grey with mourning for Catherine Parr’s funeral. The two young women, from very different social classes, become friends, and Lucy learns that Jane loves Edward Seymour, the Lord Protector’s son. Discussions for a betrothal between the pair are currently underway and Edward, gives Jane the ring her 21st century namesake will later discover. But, alas, as those who know the sad history of Lady Jane Grey know, Fate had something else in store for this young woman.

For those who like stories that unravel the history behind interesting artifacts and do not like their historical fiction too ponderous or weighty this is a great book to curl up with and it is interesting the way the author combines the stories of two women with the same first name, one whose lengthy marriage has fallen apart with that of a young girl who died at sixteen, cheated of the chance to marry the man she loved.

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