WOMEN OF ASHDON by Valerie Anand

WOMEN OF ASHDON

Vol. III of Bridges Over Time
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KIRKUS REVIEW

 A third entry in Anand's chronicles of conflicts in high and low places in English history (Crown of Roses, 1989; The Proud Villeins, 1992). Here, two women--two generations apart--are battered by great events as England enters the era of the Tudors. ``When times are dangerous, love can be dangerous too''--thus speaks the dying Susannah, who married thrice during the invasion and ascendancy of Henry Tudor (Henry VII), and who will die in her beloved home, Ashdon Manor, where she has known love and tragedy. As a young woman, Susannah is forced to marry James Weston--a good man, but not her beloved Giles; then James is killed in a battle to drive off Henry Tudor. Enter Arthur Trefusis--thanks to Henry now the undisputed owner of Susannah's Ashdon. Arthur is lively and a likable husband, but doomed. He supports the pretender Perkin Warbeck, who claims to be one of the murdered Princes, Edward V. Susannah will weather the Tower and a vain mission to save Arthur- -but, finally, there is Giles. Later, the love of Susannah's granddaughter Christina for Ashdon becomes an obsession--one that strains her marriage to a good man and that indirectly causes his death. Throughout, Anand offers lively portraits of the terrifying Tudor royals: Henry VII regretfully decreeing death to the pathetic Perkin Warbeck and others; and Elizabeth I on one of her processions ``so superb she scarcely looked real.'' And before each chapter are attractive, pertinent shards of poetry and commentary from earlier times. Solid historical fare, then, with a nice balance of reconstructed history and invented characters, along with their domestic turmoil.

Pub Date: July 19th, 1993
ISBN: 0-312-09417-5
Page count: 384pp
Publisher: St. Martin's
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1st, 1993




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