The Confession of Katherine Howard by Suzannah Dunn
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I discovered this novel in the local library and thought the story blurb sounded interesting. This is novel tells the story of Katherine Howard from the perspective Cat Tilney, the poor relation in the Howard house. Cat has been brought up under the pressure of her mother to better herself in every way possible, but mostly through marrying well. Katherine appears to have no such pressure and is only interested in clothes and boys. Despite this the two girls do become close, when Katherine catches Henry’s eye she somehow becomes queen of England, a fate she never expected but soon allegations are made about her girlhood love affairs. Cat alone knows the truth and with own lover Francis at risk as a suspect will she sacrifice her friends secrets.
The story had an interesting premise, a true story told from the unique perspective of Cat, Katherine’s childhood friend and later lady in waiting. The author seems to have researched a lot of details making it very realistic. The split between the childhood and adulthood timeline also works very well! Suspense, drama, passion, history, and innocence all add to this dramatic story.
I did feel the settings could be explored a little bit more, I would have really liked to have a little bit better feel of the glamour of the courts etc. I would also have liked to have read a little bit more about Henry himself as he is only really referenced in the story. These are just trivial details that certainly don’t detract from the story but I would have loved to have seen them added.
This book captures your interest in a beautiful historic setting, giving a fairly well known story a refreshing view. These books will appeal to most historical fiction fans especially those of Philippa Gregory. I will certainly keep an eye out for more from this author.