“It shall come to pass in the last days, saith God: I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams. And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out my Spirit in those days and they shall prophesy.” (Acts 2:17-18)
Juliana whispered, “My dreams…are they prophesy?”
“’tis your gift.” Father Gregory’s drawn face told the young girl it was a heavy burden.
From the opening pages, a terrifying cloud hangs over Mistress Juliana St. John, the daughter of a knight and successful business man in the days of King Henry the VIII. The cloud goes with her as she enters the home of the king’s sixth and last wife, Kateryn (Katherine) Parr to further her education and polish her womanly etiquette.
Juliana’s education and etiquette comes with secrets and are sometimes down right sickening. Her dreams are infrequent but frightening. Her emotional highs and lows kept me turning the pages.
The first-person point of view allowed me to be in the story. I wanted to dance. I wanted to hide. I did cry. My stomach turned. My heart ached. And I cheered the courage of the heroine, Juliana.
Ms. Byrd pulled details of the time and wove them neatly into a “could-have-happened-this-way” fictional account. I appreciated the family trees at the opening of the book and turned to them frequently to affirm the historical truths.
It’s difficult for me write a review of this book because there’s so much I want to tell you, but don’t want to give away any of the secrets. You’ll just have to read it to find out the prophesies of Juliana, the fulfillment of them, and the secrets she must keep.
If you’re interested in the history of King Henry the VIII and his wives, I recommend Sandra Byrd’s Ladies in Waiting series—“To Die For,” “The Secret Keeper,” and coming in 2013, “Roses Have Thorns.”
See my review of “To Die For.”
Be sure to visit Sandra’s website
Published by Simon& Schuster