Customer Reviews for

A Constant Heart

Average Rating 3.5
( 40 )
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5 Star

(15)

4 Star

(8)

3 Star

(9)

2 Star

(5)

1 Star

(3)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

Nice Historical Fiction

Mitchell's book was a different sort of read for me. I like historical fiction, but usually they have more of a romantic theme in them. Mitchell's book to me was just historical fiction with a bit of romance. A Constant Heart was about the courtier's during the ...
Mitchell's book was a different sort of read for me. I like historical fiction, but usually they have more of a romantic theme in them. Mitchell's book to me was just historical fiction with a bit of romance. A Constant Heart was about the courtier's during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I. Marget is a beautiful woman in a world where beauty is not allowed. She marries a courtier, Lytham, who thinks that beauty is a curse not a blessing and despises his wife for her looks. Marget encouraged by her faithful friend Joan, tries hard to fit in and make her husband love her. When she sees that the queen dislikes her she does what she can to change her appearance and gains some affections from her husband. Love is not allowed in the Queen's Court, as the courtiers are only suppose to be in love with the Queen. How can Marget keep a constant heart, her virtue, her love for her husband in a world where friendship, trust, virtue is bought and sold every day you are at court. Mitchell does a good job of weaving a great story into a historical setting. I will admit that I wasn't sure about this book at first, but I like a challenge when it comes to reading. I love giving all books a try. I love this era in history and I found it very interesting to learn about, I believe this would have been a hard era to live in and Siri Mitchell really made great characters that you felt for as time when by. By the time I was almost done I was really curious about how it was going to end and that is what kept me going.

posted by Anonymous on October 7, 2008

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Most Helpful Critical Review

5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

not all that good

** spoiler alert ** The beginning of this story was intriguing. It had the Other Boleyn Girl mixed with Pride and Prejudice versus Anna Karenina thing going on, then all of the sudden just started really being depressing. Her losing so many babies, the flood, the queen,...
** spoiler alert ** The beginning of this story was intriguing. It had the Other Boleyn Girl mixed with Pride and Prejudice versus Anna Karenina thing going on, then all of the sudden just started really being depressing. Her losing so many babies, the flood, the queen, the effects of the "painting" with mercury & lead, and of course the diseases and epidemic breakouts. I questioned why Marget was doing all of this for Lytham and not even asking him about if what she was doing would help or hinder his ...moreThe beginning of this story was intriguing. It had the Other Boleyn Girl mixed with Pride and Prejudice versus Anna Karenina thing going on, then all of the sudden just started really being depressing. Her losing so many babies, the flood, the queen, the effects of the "painting" with mercury & lead, and of course the diseases and epidemic breakouts. I questioned why Marget was doing all of this for Lytham and not even asking him about if what she was doing would help or hinder his career as a courtier. One would have thought that might have been the first thing to do. I like Mitchells writing style, it was the content that I had issues with. She seems to be consistent and knowledgeable about this time period, and that I appreciate to the point that you really felt like you were there. She did her homework. But I have never heard of people only allowed to be in love with the queen and cannot have an actual relationship other than child producing for a marriage. What a sad world to be a part of. None of them had jobs, they sat around knitting, gossiping, eating, drinking, dancing and the like. God was not a part of these peoples worlds, He was mentioned in a passing sort of way. Not having a personal relationship with Him. He was treated as a genie or Santa Clause type. The details about Lytham's child with Elnior was also not finished. Was this the heir that was to be? Or were Marget and Lytham going to have their own child? As I didn't feel that we ever really knew if this was a child produced by the affairs that de Winter "made" Elinor have. Like I said, the beginning was so good, I just really wanted this to get better and it just keeps getting worse! I don't think I would recommend this to anyone, unless you need some more misery in your life. I read to get away from my life, not read about it! The only thing I would like to do is have someone just read it, me not tainting their view and corrupting their feelings. Really glad I got from the library and not wasted my money on purchasing. As I don't think I would ever read it again, it was just that miserable!

posted by PenNameIN on February 10, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 10, 2011

    not all that good

    ** spoiler alert ** The beginning of this story was intriguing. It had the Other Boleyn Girl mixed with Pride and Prejudice versus Anna Karenina thing going on, then all of the sudden just started really being depressing. Her losing so many babies, the flood, the queen, the effects of the "painting" with mercury & lead, and of course the diseases and epidemic breakouts. I questioned why Marget was doing all of this for Lytham and not even asking him about if what she was doing would help or hinder his ...moreThe beginning of this story was intriguing. It had the Other Boleyn Girl mixed with Pride and Prejudice versus Anna Karenina thing going on, then all of the sudden just started really being depressing. Her losing so many babies, the flood, the queen, the effects of the "painting" with mercury & lead, and of course the diseases and epidemic breakouts. I questioned why Marget was doing all of this for Lytham and not even asking him about if what she was doing would help or hinder his career as a courtier. One would have thought that might have been the first thing to do. I like Mitchells writing style, it was the content that I had issues with. She seems to be consistent and knowledgeable about this time period, and that I appreciate to the point that you really felt like you were there. She did her homework. But I have never heard of people only allowed to be in love with the queen and cannot have an actual relationship other than child producing for a marriage. What a sad world to be a part of. None of them had jobs, they sat around knitting, gossiping, eating, drinking, dancing and the like. God was not a part of these peoples worlds, He was mentioned in a passing sort of way. Not having a personal relationship with Him. He was treated as a genie or Santa Clause type. The details about Lytham's child with Elnior was also not finished. Was this the heir that was to be? Or were Marget and Lytham going to have their own child? As I didn't feel that we ever really knew if this was a child produced by the affairs that de Winter "made" Elinor have. Like I said, the beginning was so good, I just really wanted this to get better and it just keeps getting worse! I don't think I would recommend this to anyone, unless you need some more misery in your life. I read to get away from my life, not read about it! The only thing I would like to do is have someone just read it, me not tainting their view and corrupting their feelings. Really glad I got from the library and not wasted my money on purchasing. As I don't think I would ever read it again, it was just that miserable!

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 7, 2008

    Nice Historical Fiction

    Mitchell's book was a different sort of read for me. I like historical fiction, but usually they have more of a romantic theme in them. Mitchell's book to me was just historical fiction with a bit of romance. A Constant Heart was about the courtier's during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I. Marget is a beautiful woman in a world where beauty is not allowed. She marries a courtier, Lytham, who thinks that beauty is a curse not a blessing and despises his wife for her looks. Marget encouraged by her faithful friend Joan, tries hard to fit in and make her husband love her. When she sees that the queen dislikes her she does what she can to change her appearance and gains some affections from her husband. Love is not allowed in the Queen's Court, as the courtiers are only suppose to be in love with the Queen. How can Marget keep a constant heart, her virtue, her love for her husband in a world where friendship, trust, virtue is bought and sold every day you are at court. Mitchell does a good job of weaving a great story into a historical setting. I will admit that I wasn't sure about this book at first, but I like a challenge when it comes to reading. I love giving all books a try. I love this era in history and I found it very interesting to learn about, I believe this would have been a hard era to live in and Siri Mitchell really made great characters that you felt for as time when by. By the time I was almost done I was really curious about how it was going to end and that is what kept me going.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 6, 2013

    I'm not sure why so many people disliked the book. I loved it. M

    I'm not sure why so many people disliked the book. I loved it. Mitchell's attention to detail made this book exceptional. Don't read this if you're looking for a brainless romantic story; you won't find it. Instead, read this if you're interested in historical fiction with exciting story lines.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 22, 2011

    Not what I was expecting

    This is a very strange outlook from the Queen Elisabeth days. The story details how everyone suffered at the hands of the Queen and life at court. A man dares to love his wife more than he loves the Queen which puts their lives in danger. If that weren't enough, the plague adds to the depression and overall grime outlook in this strange novel. I am not sure if I liked it or not but it was definitely interesting.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 27, 2008

    Both Disappointing and Recommended

    I give this book three out of five stars, but in a split manner. If I were to rate the book solely upon my enjoyment and escape into it's historical aspects, it would be two stars yet if I were to rate this book on the detail and descriptions of this historical journey at hand it would four stars. Thus, I settle at three. Starting out reading this book, I was quite distraught and not at all drawn in. The cover is gorgeous and the summary sounds interesting, but in the reading I was just not there. I searched the internet for some reviews to find what others might have thought and was shocked to find all but poor reviews, minus one that only praised the author and said nothing about the book. It is my understanding that this is the first historical from this author and although I hear her chick-lit is to die for her historical is lacking. That is not all together necessarily a full fact. The entire novel is full to the brim of historical details and facts that are painted in an array of images that could show any reader what the years of the mid-sixteenth century would appear to be. The descriptions of the clothes, the places, the people all are fascinating and plenty enough true to fact. I would highly suggest this book as a supplemental reading to be added to someone studying the Elizabethan age and wanting to find a further glance in the era. Where I do not find my joy is in the personalities and partially the writing. The story is two from two different characters' POV and switches back and forth quite drastically without any warning and sometimes it is difficult to interpret who speaks. Other than that it is the personalities of the characters that are quite drab. I kept thinking to myself of the grey skies of London, and that is quite how I felt about this story. The idea is good and could be a fabulous book if made longer with more depth to the persons involved. But reading this story was quite painful. There was no joy only sadness and I felt it with every turn of the page. I could not interpret or assume how things would turn out and in that way they were quite a mystery. Yet in the context of day by day happens I felt quite like screaming at the insolence and blindness by how these characters lived. Some have said that this was a very thinly veiled attempt at criticizing and lecturing people of today's society with beauty attempts, and although I can see that opinion in a manner, I would not call this a poor attempt. The story can relate and does bring to light some great value on the harsh truths that are known of women living in such a stage devoted to such a cause that is beyond their owns well-being. Yet it does it in an elegant and educational manner. With all that said. I would not suggest this book as a light heart-ed Christian Historical Fiction to escape into the lives of those in a courtier of Elizabeth I. It is just not quite in that category. By most standards it is not a Christian Fiction as God is not mentioned in much reverence or detail nor is his role at all hinted to more than any secular novel. However, as a book for historical and educational value, I could easily suggest and see this being read and used for vast discussions and open minds and curiosity to know more about British history. So as confusing as this must sound, it solely depends upon why you wish to read this story as to whether or not you would enjoy it. That is up to you.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 29, 2008

    A Constant Delight

    If you love historical romance with attention to detail on the inner workings of palace life with all its intrigue and deceit, you will love A CONSTANT HEART. Follow the heroine and hero as they mature in their love and in their outlook on what is important in life. See first hand the shallowness of court life and the little value given to human life especially the rights of women. The quick shifts in POV were a little disconcerting, but not too distracting. Over all, A CONSTANT HEART, will keep you 'constantly' turning the pages right to the end.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 15, 2008

    This is a terific Elizabethan romance

    In the last decade of the sixteenth century, the Earl of Lytham trusts no woman especially a beautiful aristocrat. His heart was burned to an ashy crisp by the betrayal of his first wife. He obtained an annulment that ended the sham called marriage. He will remarry only to gain favor with the Queen who prefers her lords married.--------------- Lytham¿s second wife Marget Barnardsen has been told she is a beauty, but to her chagrin her husband loathes her because of her looks. He coldly informs his wife her only role is to assist him in gaining her Highness¿ support. Marget in turn wants him to return her love, but her efforts to warm his heart fail as Queen Elizabeth is irate at her seemingly because of her looks that she tried to somewhat disguise. Now a desperate Marget fears the man she loves will annul their marriage as she only obtained the wrath of the Queen.----------------- This is a terific Elizabethan romance with a deep message of ¿to thine own self be true¿ as everyone is in God¿s image. The story line shines a deep light on the aristocracy¿s efforts to gain favor with the somewhat fickle but powerful aging ruler some go so far as changing their essence as Marget does. Known for her exciting contemporary Christian Lit, Siri Mitchell goes historical Christian Lit showing she is a writer for all seasons.----------- Harriet Klausner

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 9, 2013

    I couldn't even finish it.

    I couldn't even finish it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 11, 2012

    Great book. Great book!

    This book first caught my attention because of its gorgeous cover. Then I started reading and I couldnt put it down! Very interesting read, and you learn a lot about the time period because it feels like you are living with the characters throughout the book. I love everything Siri Mitchell writes.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 31, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Seriously good historical romance

    From the author of Chateau of Echoes comes a very well-researched novel about Queen Elizabeth and her court life. It is also a love story involving an arranged marriage. Imagine marrying someone you¿ve never met, and having him take one look at you and shun you. Imagine being a virtual slave to a queen who holds your future in her hands. One false move¿including falling in love with your husband or wife¿will ruin you forever. <BR/><BR/>Marget wants nothing more than to please her new husband, but he seems to want nothing more than to hate her. She desperately wants to be accepted by the queen and the members of her court, but they seem to hate her without cause. How is she to win her husband¿s love? How is she to figure out the rules to the game of court? She does eventually figure it out, but not without grave consequences.<BR/><BR/>This book is truly unique. And if you¿re a true historical romance fan, you can¿t help but lose yourself in the story and the details. It is a bit depressing to learn how Queen Elizabeth treated her subjects, and what the heroine and hero, and everybody else, has to go through, but I promise it has a happy ending. And the romance¿ooh la la! It is very romantic, in spite of all the sad things the heroine goes through. I have to recommend this book. It will stay with you for a long time.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 10, 2014

    Good

    Good read

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 24, 2014

    I recommend!

    The author was very knowledgeable in her history, and I thought the story was compelling. There was an accurate representation of the thoughts in that time period, and the depiction of fear was very accurate. I think most people would agree that they would do just about anything to avoid a beheading! I disagree with some of the reviewers that the story lacks character development, because there is character development just in a very slow pace (think Pride and Prejudice). Yes, there are unanswered questions and some things weren't fully explained, but I assumed that was to let the author possibly revisit this story and these individuals.

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  • Posted February 13, 2014

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book.  I always enjoy historical novel

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book.  I always enjoy historical novels.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 5, 2014

    Historically interesting; boring plot

    This look at the Elizabethan era gave a look at the culture that I did not know. I was however constantly repulsed by what I read. The plot wasn't very interesting and I never cared for the characters. I got this free so I'm glad I didn't pay for it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 21, 2014

    Excellent

    Excellent insight inot a courtiers life. Great book, well written and a very different storyline. Highly recommend!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 13, 2014

    It was okay.

    It was okay. It was like the same things happened over and over in it....little disappointed, but still pretty good! Would NOT recommend for younger people! But overall pretty good.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 7, 2014

    Historical romance

    Going to give this one two stars. Takes reader into the days of queen and her court and allows reader to experience just how silly yet dangerous and cutthroat it was. Would read more by this author.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 7, 2013

    Poor editing

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 6, 2013

    Mixed Review

    I liked this book a lot, however I didn't find much Christian about it. The history of the time period was very enlightening to me so i enjoyed that aspect. But I was very disappointed that there wasn't a more Biblical stance.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 21, 2012

    Should i read?

    It sounds interesting.....but im not sure if i should read it.again.Should i?

    0 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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