The Unfaithful Queen: A Novel of Henry VIII's Fifth Wife - Carolly Erickson
A flashback in the times, where Kings got all they wanted and girls were raised to please the kings. This is the story of the spirited Catherine Howard's life. From the beginning of her love life to the time she became queen and died, executed.

This book is engaging and shares a lot of Catherine's situations and dilemma. From the time she discovered love, to the punishments of her grand-mother, to her hopes and dreams. Then she meets the King, who wants to marry her because she reminds him so much her mother, who was one of his mistresses and who died giving birth to his child. The King, entering a war time, was trying to marry another girl in order to build an alliance. He was pressured to do so but knew the one he wanted was Catherine. He found all ways to get out from his engagement and finally marry Catherine.

Her life is dedicated to her husband with the only goal to give him a son. Her fears, lies and solutions to give birth are interesting. She is also waiting for her husband death (which she hoped was coming quickly) so she can start to have the life she wanted by marrying her lover Tom. It is also interesting to read the position of women at that time. For example, she was 16 and he was +50 but it was unbelievable from anybody that the issue of not being able to conceive a child was coming from the king, it was definitely coming from her. If she was not giving birth, she knew she could be rejected and the king could leave her, bringing disgrace to her entire family.

We also learn how her marriage is important to the entire family and what people are expecting from her. We learn about the behind the scene lives they had, where betrayals were common.

A nice book for who likes history.

Vanina Delobelle