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C. P. Lesley

Bookworm, writer, radio host—I blog about history, fiction, and publishing in the Internet Age. You can find the full blog on my website. This space is for books.

The Altarpiece (The Cross and The Crown Series, #1) - Sarah    Kennedy

I haven't rated this book, because I expect to interview the author in September, and it's not yet decided which book I will feature.


In brief, Catherine Havins, a young nun in 1535 England, faces an uncertain future after King Henry VIII decides to dissolve all monasteries and convents in his kingdom. Not only do Catherine and her fellow nuns support the divorced queen, Katherine of Aragon, who has shown kindness to them in the past, but Catherine feels an obligation to her prioress, who adopted her as a foundling infant and raised her. Matters only get worse when the convent's altarpiece goes missing and the new would-be owner sends his disturbingly attractive younger brother to reclaim it. Then smallpox breaks out....


The characters are well drawn, the story compelling, and the historical detail gloriously rendered by the author, a professor of Renaissance literature. Also, whatever BookLikes and GoodReads think, the hardcover sent to me for the interview is only 224 pages—little more than a literary snack for a group like this!