Her Mother’s Daughter – Book Review

her mother's daughterHer Mother’s Daughter by Julianne Lee

Mary Tudor is probably the most reviled monarch in English history.  She is known for her burning of Protestants, and not much else.  In “Her Mother’s Daughter,” Julianne Lee attempts to humanize, and thereby rehabilitate, Mary.  I was a bit wary about reading this, because I’m suffering some fairly sever Tudor fatigue and I have one more book to review in January that deals with the Tudors, and should be getting “Wolf Hall” for Christmas, which is another book that deals with the Tudors.  Evidently I was right to be wary and probably wrong to accept this book for review.  My Tudor fatigue is very real and prevented me from really enjoying this book (I may have to put off Wolf Hall for a couple of months after Christmas so I can fully enjoy it!).

So, instead of a traditional review, I’m going to point out to you a few things I noticed while reading the book, and you can decide for yourself whether you would like to read it, since I can’t separate my Tudor fatigue from the book’s merit:

  • We get some historical perspective on Mary in this book, it isn’t limited to her general time frame, but opens and closes with girls at a slumber party trying to summon ‘Bloody Mary’ in a mirror
  • Knowledge of the period was fairly important.  Lee did not spend a lot of time holding anyone’s historical hand, so if you know nothing about the happenings during Mary’s life, there are times when you may be momentarily confused.  If you have a basic knowledge, though, you will have no problem following along.
  • The story was primarily told by acquaintances of Mary’s and those whose lives were influenced either by Mary, or by the things that influenced Mary’s life, some fiction, some not.
  • The beginning of each section had a statement from Mary about what happened during that time, almost like the director’s cut of the DVD of her life, followed by the narration of the secondary characters, as noted above.

Honestly, I think that most historical fiction fans who are not overdosed on the Tudors would like this book, as Mary is not often the subject of sympathetic treatment.

Check back tomorrow when I’ll have a guest post from Julianne, as well as a giveaway.

Buy this book from:
A local independent bookstore via Indiebound

This review was done with a book received from Kaitlyn at Penguin.
* These links are all affiliate links. If you buy your book here I’ll make a very small amount of money that goes towards hosting, giveaways, etc.

11 comments to Her Mother’s Daughter – Book Review

  • I actually liked this book – I’ve been avoiding the Tudors for awhile so my Tudor fatigue didn’t come into play. I didn’t like the slumber party thing though.
    .-= S. Krishna´s last blog ..Fallen – Lauren Kate =-.

  • Tudor fatigue, huh? I wonder if there is a medication for that? This is not something I would normally read, and of course, who wouldn’t want to know a little bit more about Bloody Mary? I may be back for the giveaway!
    .-= Sandy´s last blog ..Forever – Judy Blume =-.

  • I love the Tudors. I’m also waiting for my Christmas Vacation to read “Wolf Hall.” I’m going to add this to my TBR list. I haven’t read much about Mary Tudor.

  • I’ve kind of taken a hiatus from the Tudors for a while now so I may have to check this one out. She certainly was a different kind of ruler.

  • I haven’t been drawn to the Tudor books for some reason, and I’m not really sure why.

  • I enjoyed this book and hope to post my review on Friday. I appreciated the sympathetic portrayal of Mary Tudor. I also like how you got some of her thoughts and feelings while the story was told by others. That is really what has happened. Others are telling her story.

    On a related note, Wolf Hall is going slowly for me. I enjoyed the first third, but I’ve put it down for now. I don’t know if I would call it Tudor fatigue. It takes a lot of concentration to read the author’s writing.
    .-= Literate Housewife´s last blog ..I Love My Kindle! =-.

  • I just received my copy of the book. Though I have been spending quite a bit with the Tudors, I couldn’t pass this one up. I know quite a bit about her childhood but not her adulthood. I think I would like to see her in a better light.

  • I don’t have Tudor fatigue . . . yet. I’m sure I’ll be reading this one eventually because I’m interested in seeing a sympathetic take on poor Mary.

  • Thanks for the great review! I am also glad to see that you recommend people purchase the book from Powells.com. If readers need or prefer large print books, http://www.readhowyouwant.com is offering 25% off on all purchases made in December when you use Promo Code GRY7342W at check out. Thanks again!

  • This certainly sounds interesting to me. I don’t really have much knowledge nor have I read much on the Tudor period but it definitely interests me. Maybe after I get more background, I’ll be ready for this book.

  • I’ve not had Tudor fatigue for a while but I know what you mean. I think I must enter your contest as I have read little of Mary except for the bad. I would like to know more about her. Don’t worry, if i don’t win it, it will go on the wish list.

    I think Wolf Hall will be my next audio from audible.com.
    .-= HODGEPODGESPV´s last blog ..I want a book! This one! =-.