The Six Wives of Henry VIII by Alison Weir
The most memorable monarch in British history had six equally memorable wives. This is a good entertaining account of their lives. The stolid, stubborn and prideful Katherine of Aragon who refused to accept the failure of her marriage, who was supplanted by the ambitious, highly strung Anne Boleyn.
She sought and won the King but couldn’t keep him and was herself supplanted by the meek (or was she?) Jane Seymour who alone of all his wives gave the King a son. Then after Jane’s death came the pleasant, popular Anne of Cleeves who the King inexplicably disliked and quickly put aside.
The young and flighty Katherine Howard was utterly unsuited to her role and paid for that fact dearly. She was succeeded by the intellectual Katherine Parr who promoted the education of women.
Henry VIII had a marital revolving door that resulted in much domestical upheaval. This is a well written take on the politics, religion, gossip and biology all his wives lived and died by. It tells of thier role at court, their clothes, their jewels and the terrible isolation and threat they suffered. This stirring book is much better than Antonia Fraser’s somewhat inaccurate version.
Zombie Blondes by Brian James
Hannah moves to Maplecrest, a town that seems wrong. She wants to be popular but the in crowd bully her and her only friend Lukas keeps telling her that something is rotten in Maplecrest.
But when Hannah is offered the chance of popularity she so craves, she ignores Lukas’ warnings and grabs her chance. To be part of the in crowd means conformity and Maplecrest, a small isolated town, has perfected the art of conformity. You conform or you die. This is a very good and in places terrifying novel.
White Crow by Marcus Sedgwick
In the decaying town of Winterfold two troubled girls meet. Their uneasy friendship sets in motion a shocking chain of events. Events that are connected to unholy occurrences that took place in Winterfold in 1798. This is a good, dark gothic tale.