Saturday, June 2, 2012

Gilt by Katherine Longshore - ADVISABLE

Longshore, Katherine Gilt, 406 pgs. Viking Press, May 2012. $17.99. (Language - PG, Sexual Content - R, Violence - R.)

Beginning in the year 1539, Gilt gives voice to Kitty, best friend and confidante of Queen Catherine Howard, the fifth of King Henry the VIII's ill-fated wives. Impetuous, self-centered, and charismatic, Catherine holds sway over all she comes across. But even Kitty, her best friend and greatest believer, couldn't have anticipated that Catherine would rise from a position of nothingness to become queen, taking Kitty right along with her. However, when Catherine carries her manipulation and impulsiveness too far, she and Kitty stand to lose everything - including their lives.

Gilt is a fascinating account of life in the Tudor Court and the betrayal, the yearning, the manipulation, and the sheer struggle it took to survive. As anyone with a passing interest in King Henry VIII might expect, the story has some gruesome aspects, especially toward the end. Sexual activity is very strongly alluded to as well, although not condoned, and Kitty witnesses a rape that impacts several story threads. This book is definitely for more mature readers, but those with an interest in history will likely find the story of Catherine Howard and her most trusted confidante insightful and interesting.

HS-ADVISABLE. Reviewed by: Caryn, Library Media Specialist.

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