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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

ARC Review: The Sumerton Women by D.L. Bogdan

cover courtesy of Kensington
Publish Date: April 24, 2012
Publisher:  Kensington Books
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher

(may differ from final copy)
She hid in her mother’s wardrobe.

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!