Thursday, May 3, 2012

Review: The Sumerton Women by D.L. Bogdan


Synopsis (From the Publisher):
"Orphaned at age eight, Lady Cecily Burkhart becomes the ward of Harold Pierce, Earl of Sumerton. Lord Hal and his wife, Lady Grace, welcome sweet-natured Cecily as one of their own. With Brey, their young son, Cecily develops an easy friendship. But their daughter, Mirabella, is consumed by her religious vocation - and by her devotion to Father Alec Cahill, the family priest and tutor. As Henry VIII's obsession with Anne Boleyn leads to violent religious upheaval, Mirabella is robbed of her calling and the future Cecily dreamed of is ripped away in turn. Cecily struggles to hold together the fractured household while she and Father Alec grapple with a dangerous mutual attraction. Plagued with jealousy, Mirabella unleashes a tumultuous chain of events that threatens to destroy everyone around her, even as the kingdom is torn apart..."

My Review: 

Set during the religious upheaval of Henry VIII's reign, The Sumerton Women tells a tale or love, loss, betrayal and redemption. Told in third person point of view, the story closely follows the lives of Cecily Burkhart and Mirabella Pierce. Cecily Burkhart, ward of Harold Pierce, comes to love the Sumerton family as her own and considers herself most fortunate to have found happiness and security so soon after the death of her parents. But alas, happiness can only last so long during the reign of Henry VIII. While Cecily is naive to the distressing undercurrents within the Sumerton family, Mirabella is bitter as her desires for the future are swiftly destroyed by her family and King Henry VIII. Through the years all those who come to live at Sumerton Castle will be affected by the paths these two willful women chose in life. Trying to salvage a family wrought by destruction, can these two women put aside their own desires in order to create a peaceful future for their loves ones?

The Sumerton Women is a remarkable work of historical fiction that draws the reader in with each shocking chapter. This is the third novel by D.L. Bogdan and I must declare that it is my favorite so far. The fluid writing style combined with the subtle foreshadowing creates a compelling reading experience that will stay with the reader long after the the last page. Although the book is set during Henry VIII's ruthless reign, this is only a plot backdrop which instigates the majority of drama found at the fictitious Sumerton Castle. The characters are well defined, the historical detail is superb and the plot is deliciously intricate. I don't want to give anything away about the characters, so I will merely say that I was emotionally engaged throughout this novel and it ultimately led me to tears at one point, which is something that I rarely do while reading a novel. Considering all the brilliant elements of this novel, and of course the fact that I was brought to tears, I give this novel one of my highest recommendations for historical fiction novels of 2012. 


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About D.L. BOGDAN

D.L. Bogdan is an ongoing student of history, musician, and avid reader who enjoys travel, the outdoors, and time with her family and friends. She is a proud wife and mother who makes her home in central Wisconsin. She is the author of Secrets of the Tudor Court, Rivals in the Tudor Court and The Sumerton Women.

For more information on D.L. Bogdan and her novels, please visit her Website. You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter.








The Sumerton Women Virtual Book Tour Schedule: 

Monday, April 16th
Review & Giveaway at Luxury Reading

Tuesday, April 17th
Review at Always with a Book

Wednesday, April 18th
Author Interview & Giveaway at The Maiden's Court

Friday, April 20th
Review & Giveaway at Unabridged Chick

Monday, April 23rd
Review at A Bookish Affair

Tuesday, April 24th
Author Interview & Giveaway at Passages to the Past

Wednesday, April 25th
Review at History Undressed

Thursday, April 26th
Author Interview & Giveaway at History Undressed

Monday, April 30th
Review & Giveaway at Bippity Boppity Book

Wednesday, May 2nd
Review & Giveaway at CelticLady's Reviews

Thursday, May 3rd
Review & Giveaway at The Muse in the Fog Book Reviews

Friday, May 4th
Review & Giveaway at Peeking Between the Pages

Monday, May 7th
Author Interview & Giveaway at A Bookish Affair

Friday, May 11th
Review & Giveaway at The True Book Addict

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