"One of the Best Books of 2016" - Open Letters Monthly; Finalist, 2016 Novel of the Year - Underground Book Reviews; Semi-Finalist - 2017 M.M. Bennetts Award
All Jane Seymour wants is a husband; but when she catches the eye of a volatile king, she is pulled deep into the Tudor court's realm of plot and intrigue....
England, 1535. At 27, Jane Seymour is increasingly desperate to marry and secure her place in the world. When the Court visits Wolf Hall, her family’s ancestral manor, Jane has the perfect opportunity to shine: her diligence, efficiency, and newfound poise are sure to finally attract a suitor.
Meanwhile, King Henry VIII is increasingly desperate for an heir. He changed his country’s religion to leave his first wife, a princess of Spain, for Anne Boleyn -- but she too has failed to provide a son. As Henry begins to fear he is cursed, Jane Seymour’s honesty and innocence conjure in him the hope of redemption.
Thomas Cromwell, an ambitious clerk whose political prowess keeps the king’s changing desires satisfied, sees in Jane Seymour the perfect answer to the unrest threatening England: he engineers a plot that ends with Jane becoming the King’s third wife. For Jane, who believes herself virtuous and her actions justified, miscarriages early in her marriage to the king shake her confidence. How can a woman who has committed no wrong bear the guilt of how she unseated her predecessor?
Wertman portrays her discreet and plain Jane Seymour as a religious and political focal point in this delicate historical novel with romance elements, the first volume of the Seymour Saga, set in the volatile court of Henry VIII. In 1535, King Henry is traveling through England to meet his people. Queen Anne Boleyn has not given him the son he desperately needs, only the daughter Elizabeth, and King Henry is searching for a new wife. Unmarried Jane, a maid to the fiery queen, is 27 and on the verge of spinsterhood; her domineering brother Edward has been unable to arrange a suitable marriage for her. During the king's procession through England, he stops to visit Jane's ancestral home, Wolf Hall, where she has made all the arrangements for his visit. They share a tender moment that leads to a romantic spark. Pious Jane knows the fatal consequences to Anne, yet she loves Henry and wants to be queen. Wertman describes the pageantry, gowns, and architecture of pre-Elizabethan England; presents an ample cast of nobles and ladies-in-waiting; and exposes the tense religious turmoil and malicious political machinations of the Tudor court, led by dastardly Thomas Cromwell. This enticing, historically accurate story lends immediacy to the events. (BookLife)\n