Orphaned at age eight, Lady Cecily Burkhart becomes the ward of Harold Pierce, Earl of Sumerton. The charming Lord Hal and his wife, Lady Grace, immediately welcome sweet-natured Cecily as one of their own. With Brey, their young son, Cecily develops an easy, playful friendship. But their intensely devout daughter, Mirabella, is consumed by her religious vocation--and by her devotion to Father Alec Cahill, the family priest and tutor.
With Father Alec as her closest confidant, Cecily begins to glimpse the painful secrets at the heart of the Pierce family. When tragedy strikes at home, and Henry VIII's obsession with Anne Boleyn leads to violent upheaval across England, Mirabella is robbed of her calling and the future Cecily dreamed of is ripped away in turn. As Cecily struggles to hold together the fractured household, she and Alec also grapple with a dangerous mutual attraction. Plagued with jealousy, Mirabella unleashes a tumultuous chain of events that threatens to destroy everyone around her. For with treachery and suspicion rampant, desire has the power to shatter a family--and tear a kingdom apart. . .
"A story of love and redemption, beautifully told." --Christy English, author of To Be Queen
Praise for Secrets of the Tudor Court
"A beautifully written story with wonderful attention to detail. I loved the book." --Diane Haeger, author of The Queen's Mistake
"Throbs with intensity as it lays bare the secret delights of Tudor court life and the sudden, lethal terrors. A tale of innocence and ruthless ambition locked in a love-hate embrace." --Barbara Kyle, author of The King's Daughter
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Lady Cecily Burkhart’s parents pass on when she is only eight years old. Father Alec Cahill is sent by the Pierce family to bring Cecily to them as their ward. Being the sole heiress to a huge fortune, she is quickly betrothed to their son Brey and as they grow their friendship flourishes. Underneath the seemingly peaceful façade of the family lie many dark secrets. After Brey falls ill and dies and his mother disappears, Hal Pierce feels that he would be a good match for Cecily and against Father Alec’s advice, proposes to Cecily. Hal’s daughter Mirabella whose only dream is to enter the convent, finds anger starting to build and when she explodes there will be no saving those in her path. I loved every single part of The Sumerton Women. It invoked in me all the emotions that I love to experience when I am reading. Cecily is the epitome of someone that always wants to do the right thing but yet she is flawed. Your heart cries for her. Hal is a good man deep down but carries regret and shame with him. Mirabella is not an easy character to love but you start to think if only things were different would she have been able to forgive earlier and not let the anger fester until she starts a series of events that leave many destroyed. Then there is Father Alec, the constant in all their lives yet seriously flawed as well. He starts out as the children’s tutor and spiritual support but becomes family and at times the lines blur for him and Cecily. The friendships and relationships all these characters have shape and mold them. I was especially heartbroken for Alice, Cecily’s friend. But I will let you find out why. I always love a good Tudor novel and I enjoyed the fact you see how Henry VIII’s decisions affected the people he ruled. Not only does Henry VIII not know what he wants, his people are even more confused and this confusion causes divides in families and friends. The reader discovers all this while following the Pierce family’s trials and tribulations. Excellent historical fiction read and I highly recommend!
This was another great novel by the author. This is a historical fiction saga that does not let you down. Ms. Bogdan uses a historical fact backdrop with main fictional characters describing how political/religious decisions of the Tudor Court affected the life of the citizens of England. D.L. Bogdan again creates a visually descriptive novel that is easy to love for years to come.
This is the type of book that gives historical fiction a bad name. Zero authenticity in terms of either period details or characterization. Silly, shallow, completely unrealistic characters whose one-dimensionality is only emphasized by the author's attempts to make them interesting. Imagine the most rote of Sweet Valley High characters -- orphaned girl, alcoholic adoptive mother, detached but pleasant adoptive father, rebellious sister, all painted with faithful stereotyping from the 2000s rather than the 1500s. Then imagine them shoved shouting and complaining into a gabled headdress or some puffy breeches and then drinking too much at a banquet or running off by themselves for a walk to the village in protest. There: you've had more fun then you ever will reading this book.
This one was a roller-coaster ride. One thing happens after another. So many twists and turns, it was emotionally exhausting reading it. And then the end. After getting to the last chapters, I could see the ending as if I wrote it myself. A little too much happening for me.