A Fun History Lesson
Juliana St. John is a young gentlewoman who has prophetic dreams. She’s thrilled to join Kateryn Parr at Henry VIII’s court as a personal servant to the queen in fact the two women form a close bond much like mother and daughter. They both share a love of reading something that was frowned on or even punishable for women at that time. Byrd clearly conveys the rarity and value of books during the Tudor period. Parr even writes and publishes two of her own books. I enjoyed this glimpse into women’s literacy in the 15th century.
Though Juliana is a fictional character Byrd intertwines her story with many historical figures including Parr and Thomas Seymour. Her facts surrounding this time in Henry’s reign are vivid. Juliana’s love story was weak since it was there mostly to further the historical action. And in the end it gave a plausible ending to a long standing mystery concerning one of the royals. This takes little away from the real story and, as an added bonus, Byrd includes an afterward where she gives historical perspective and delineates what was true and what was fiction. “The Secret Keeper” is a fun history lesson.
This review was based on an egalley provided by the publisher.