Banned Books Week - September 24 - 30

Friday, May 11, 2012

Book Tour: Review of The Sumerton Women by D.L. Bogdan and {Give@way}

Winner of The Sumerton Women--Jennifer Haile  She has bee notified.  Congrats!



My thoughts:
Another story set during the perilous times of the Tudor court, the reign of Henry VIII.  In truth, there are so many stories that can be told about the people who were affected by his actions.  The people in The Sumerton Women are no exception.  Ms. Bogdan has taken these lives and brought them vividly to life, amid an accurate historical setting.

The characters are real and it became easy to become emotionally invested, especially with Cecily.  Her story begins as an orphaned child, but she soon grows into a strong young lady who must face decisions that she never dreamed of facing.  And she does so with grace and love.  In fact, that is the key to the character of Cecily.  She is the embodiment of love.  In the discussion questions at the back of the book, this question is asked, "Who in this novel would you describe as being closest to God?"  Unequivocally, it is Cecily.  Her kindness and strength, her selfless love for all, are the virtues I believe God treasures in a person.

Mirabella, the daughter who learns a heartbreaking truth and who is the one who it seemed had an early calling to God, is in fact the farthest from him.  I say this because of her pride and judgement of others. While it is admirable that she sought to serve God, in truth it was her own peace that she was seeking, not her desire to serve and help others.  In her realization of this truth, she becomes even more zealous in her religious fervor.  When she is thrust from her vocation due to the dissolution of the Catholic religious houses, she embarks on a treacherous journey that causes much strife in the lives of her family and her own.

And then there is Father Alec Cahill, a priest who is conflicted in his religious convictions and in his role as a priest and wanting to live life as a real man.  Thrown in the midst of the tempestuous court of Henry VIII in his service to Archbishop Cranmer, Father Alec is really at the center of The Sumerton Women's religious story.  He is a pivotal character with whom the reader can very much relate.

Ultimately, The Sumerton Women is a well-researched and thought provoking historical novel.  Not only do we feel for the characters and their experiences, we also gain insight into how so many lives were affected by the actions of Henry VIII, and not just the lives at court.


About the book:
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...


About the author:
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.

TOUR SCHEDULE 
Twitter Event Hashtag: #SumertonWomenVirtualTour 

GIVEAWAY:  One copy of The Sumerton Women.  International.  To enter, please leave a comment telling me your opinion, good or bad, of Henry VIII.  Be sure to leave a way to contact you (email address, Twitter ID, etc.) if you win.  Giveaway will end on Friday, May 25 at 11:59pm CST.  Good luck!


READING CHALLENGES



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11 comments:

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  1. I never tire of reading about Henry VIII. He was a great king in some ways, but he was the epitome of the saying "absolute power corrupts absolutely." A staggering amount of folks lost their heads during his reign (some estimates are as high as 76,000) many for the "crime" of having a different opinion than his, including Robert Dudley's grandfather Edmund Dudley, prominent Churchmen such as Sir Thomas More and Bishop Fisher (Cardinal Wolsey cheated the hangman by dropping dead while being hounded through England), and two wives. The good he may have done England will forever be negated by his bloodthirsty legacy (continued by his elder daughter, but that's a story for another day).

    Deniseincoralsprings@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. I believe that Henry was probably good for the Country, but not good for his wives, children or those who had any dealings with him.
    Thanks for the giveaway!
    allisonmharper@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  3. I am not sure if I like Henry or not. I don't like him because of the way he went thru women and cheated on his wives, but I like how he stood up for what he wanted. If you think about it though I suppose he would be what we could call a pig nowadays though, lol. Thank you for the chance to win.

    griperang at embarqmail dot com

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  4. Like any other larger than life historical figure, I enjoyed studying the reign of Henry Viii, and his legendary faults make for great dark fictional elements.

    nanze55 hotmail dot com

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  5. He is an interesting episode in history. Lomazowr @gmail.com

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  6. He led a colorful life--very few people even today have had six spouses--but all in all Henry was a cruel tyrant. Very few despots went so far as to execute(Howard and Boleyn) and investigate (Parr) their wives. No one was safe from him. No wonder his children had illnesses and personality disorders. They never felt love or comfort!

    Please enter me in the contest. I really want to win this book!
    annfesATyahooDOTcom

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  7. A fascinating period in history. I would love to read THE SUMERTON WOMEN thank you.

    marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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  8. He was most certainly crazy, but fascinating! I enjoy reading or watching movies about him and his wives because his life was pure drama!

    volta2173 at sbcglobal dot net

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  9. I think Henry VIII is fascinating, but not very likeable. And, although I'm a bit tired of the Tudor era, and book in which the characters are not part of the Tudor royalty sounds very appealing. Thanks for the giveaway.
    lcborwer40(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  10. I'm from Sri Lanka, so I first became familiar with Henry VIII after reading The Other Boleyn Girl. i agree that his life was pretty much based on scandalous behaviour, but I also think it made him an interesting character!

    Thanks for hosting this giveaway!

    nirmalachandrasiri@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  11. I think Henry had two faces.. The charming, sporty, intelligent one and the cruel, cold one. As he grew older the second side of him became more obvious. Thank you for the giveaway!
    elizapol(at)hotmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
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