Author: Katherine Longshore
Publication date: May 15, 2012
Publisher: Viking Juvenile
Genres: Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Romance
Format: Hardcover, purchased
ABOUT THE BOOK:
When Kitty Tylney’s best friend, Catherine Howard, worms her way into King Henry VIII’s heart and brings Kitty to court, she’s thrust into a world filled with fabulous gowns, sparkling jewels, and elegant parties. No longer stuck in Cat’s shadow, Kitty’s now caught between two men–the object of her affection and the object of her desire. But court is also full of secrets, lies, and sordid affairs, and as Kitty witnesses Cat’s meteoric rise and fall as queen, she must figure out how to keep being a good friend when the price of telling the truth could literally be her head.
This month, the book club that I am part of picked Gilt as our March read. And even though I didn’t love the book, I still enjoyed it. I love historical novels, but when it comes to King Henry VIII’s life being fictionalized, I usually cringe. He’s not my favorite king to read about, but there’s always something about his selfish choices and his numerous wives that lead to fascinating stories. Gilt was a great book to jump in and focus on the life of his teenage wife, Catherine Howard.
The author, Katherine Longshore, did a great job with sticking to a lot of the historical facts that took place during this time period. I’m one of those people that believes that history affects literature and literature affects history; so of course, this book focuses on the shenanigans that took place during Henry’s reign. Although the book highlights the marriage of young Catherine Howard and Henry, the main focus is wrapped around Catherine’s humble friend Kitty, who I adored.
I’m not a big fan of Catherine Howard in the first place, so focusing on her marriage to Henry was probably my biggest complaint in the book. Catherine is so young and immature when she marries Henry, so it didn’t phase me that I found her annoying and infuriating in this book. However, her advancement to marrying Henry allows the character Kitty, Catherine’s childhood friend, to shine. I really enjoyed Kitty as a character. I think she is well-developed, and Longshore pays close attention to capturing Kitty as a vulnerable bystander that has a lot of spark and positive qualities, which only made me feel for Kitty’s situation and root for her success in the book. The ending is left open-ended, but I really do wish and pray that Kitty got her happy ending, especially in regards to one of her love interests.
NOTE: I was not provided a copy of this book by the author or the publisher in an exchange for a review. I bought this book with my own funds and reviewed it at my own discretion. All statements and opinions in this review are mine.