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A Constant Heart by Siri Mitchell
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1983084,757 (3.31)13
  1. 10
    Innocent Traitor: A Novel of Lady Jane Grey by Alison Weir (shamicnic)
    shamicnic: This is another historical fiction piece that readers may enjoy.

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Two suggestions. First, this book could use new cover art because the current cover gives the impression that this book is a romance novel and the brief synopsis provided on the cover "Will Marget risk everything for the man who's captured her heart?" does little to dispel this illusion when in fact this is much more a piece of historical fiction than romance. Second, I would retitle this book something along the lines of "Everyone Hates Queen Elizabeth (Starring two characters who clearly need to learn how to COMMUNICATE)."

In all seriousness, the main characters Lytham and Marget seemed like manic depressive school kids. Spoiler alert: I have never encountered characters that vacillated so much about EVERYTHING. One minute they love each other, the next minute they are sure that the other is being unfaithful, and then they ignore each other and then without reason they love each other again and on and on it goes for like 400 pages. In a word: obnoxious. AND neither of them ever talks about their issues with the other. I would think that in the course of a 5+ year marriage a husband and wife would discuss something, anything! and if they had, there would have been a lot less drama. For example: Marget, "So I'm best buds with Lady Winters." Lyntham "Lady Winters? She's a snake! Avoid her." And then all problems would be avoided and this book would be like 5 pages long, instead of 400. Not to mention the fact that the characters are totally unrealistic. So Marget knows Lady Winters is a snake, has betrayed her and wants Lyntham for herself and what is the first thing she does after coming to this realization? She chooses to listen to Lady Winters again instead of trusting what she has with her husband of 5 years. Unrealistic. And to top it off? Everyone (especially the main characters) is incurably selfish. Running over and killing little kids in the street, refusing to help the poor, turning on and insulting their servants without the least provocation, and choosing to rant about their own measly feelings of insecurity when the entire countryside is dying from starvation and plague.... the list goes on.

I would recommend avoiding this book, unless you want to read about the effects of lead poisoning or you really hate Queen Elizabeth and want to see her bashed to pieces for hundreds of pages. In the end, the only emotion this book inspired in me was pity for Queen Elizabeth who Mitchell unmercifully shredded throughout this lackluster work.

Also, they still put lead in makeup so where does that leave us? ( )
  peleiades22 | Apr 8, 2011 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I have to agree with what many people have said - I knew that this book was historical fiction and that is what captured my interest, but I didn't realize that it was Christian fiction, which did turn me off a little. It was an interesting read, but it did draw out a little too long. Lost interest somewhat, and got slightly annoyed with the characters to a point. ( )
  amandaking | Apr 4, 2011 |
Bor-ing!! The story was interesting, but it was just SO long and drawn-out!! I almost fell asleep. ( )
  mjbrownie | Sep 12, 2010 |
As a history major, historical fiction is a guilty pleasure for me. Many of my fellow classmates who are PhD bound tend to see historical fiction as splurges that are not worth the effort. I disagree because I feel that GOOD historical fiction can help people understand history more and help to garner more interest in the subject. It's interesting because even though I am an American history focus, I really love British history possibly due to my love of all things British. It might also have to do with the fact that American history also has its roots in British history so it's really all tied together. Either way, it's just good stuff and I love reading it.

I really have enjoyed Siri Mitchell's chick lit books and I've read one of her other historicals. Even though the books are totally different, they are written wonderfully. They are so full of detail and the story line is fully developed. At first it's a bit confusing at the switching of view points between Marget and Lytham because there's not really an obvious break between the two thoughts. However once you get into the meat of the story, it just begins to flow.

I've watched several movies about Queen Elizabeth and it's amazing how she's portrayed in this book as a jealous, conniving old woman who's wants control of everyone around her. I felt so bad for Marget who from the beginning found disfavor from the Queen simply because of the way she looked. Then she had to give in to all the beauty requirements which were really harmful and deadly to the women who were using them. It's interesting how much effort was put to appease vanity. The whole book is just Marget loving her husband even though it can lead to disaster. For some reason, I kept picturing Colin Firth as Lytham. I think it might have to do with him being in the movie Shakespeare in Love which takes place during the same time period but also because Lytham has sort of a Darcy attitude around him. Either way, he was quite a complex character who is afraid to love and is wary of trusting a woman again.

The historical research for this book is well done. You really feel as if you have been transported to Elizabethan England. I could picture the court, the costumes, the culture of the times. It's just a sweeping novel. I would not even classify this book as Christian fiction even though it's from a Christian publisher. Honestly, it is just a really wonderful historical fiction book that takes the reader into the story and transports them back to another time and era. And isn't the cover of the book just gorgeous? This book helps to explain why Siri Mitchell is one of my favorite authors. HIGHLY recommended. ( )
  mrsjason | May 5, 2010 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I requested this book based on my love of historical fiction and didn't realize that it was also Christian fiction (which I don't read). When I received it, I was surprised that it was labeled Christian- the story and characters didn't seem to support that classification. Unfortunately the story also wasn't a good example of historical fiction either. The characters seemed one-dimensional to me and the plot was contrived. I didn't believe any of the characters motivations for their actions. Maybe it just wasn't my cup of tea. ( )
  agentpaper | Nov 12, 2009 |
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England during the last decade of the sixteenth century under the reign of Queen Elizabeth
First words
"But how could he not like you?" "He is and earl, Joan!" "And you, Marget, are to be his countess."
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0764204319, Paperback)

Born with the face of an angel, Marget Barnardsen is blessed. Her father is a knight, and now she is to be married to the Earl of Lytham. her destiny is guaranteed...at least, it would seem so. But when her introduction to court goes awry and Queen Elizabeth despises her, Marget fears she's lost her husband forever. Desperate to win him back, she'll do whatever it takes to discover how she failed and capture again the love of a man bound to the queen.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:22:42 -0400)

Born with the face of an angel, Marget Barnardsen is blessed. Her father is a knight and now she is to be married to the Earl of Lytham. When her introduction to court goes awry, Marget fears she's lost her husband forever. Desperate to win him back, she'll do whatever it takes to capture his love.… (more)

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