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Review – A Constant Heart (ARC)

A Constant Heart
by Siri Mitchell
276 pages
Christian Fiction
Publication date: October 2008

I received A Constant Heart by Siri Mitchell through Library Thing Early Reviewers.

The story opens with the main character, Marget, talking to her best friend, Joan, about her upcoming marriage to the Earl of Lytham. It’s an arranged marriage, and they haven’t met each other. It’s during the last decade of the sixteenth century during the reign of Queen Elizabeth.

Unfortunately for Marget, Lytham was betrayed by his beautiful wife and only wants Marget for her dowry. Her beautiful visage repels Lytham.

Lytham is a courtier in the royal court and only wishes to gain the queen’s favor to get out of his current financial situation brought on by the gambling of his now-deceased-brother. Marget, never having been to court, must learn all the intricacies of a courtier, from dying her hair to painting her face with a lead-based concoction. She thinks she has a friend in a Lady de Winter, but is too dense to see past the “help” the Lady de Winter is offering.

Despite Lytham’s misgivings, he falls in love with Marget, but the first few years of their marriage is frought with misunderstandings, an insecurity in their tender love, and a belief that his wife would betray him on the part of Lytham.

The author must have done an amazing amount of research on speech, clothes, and the royal court. The dialogue seems true to the time period, giving it a Shakesperean feel (though admittedly easier to read). One thing the author did that was interesting was she alternated narrators. Marget would narrate and then Lytham, giving the reader almost full knowledge of what was going on, what the misunderstandings were, really leaving the reader with nothing to guess at.

While this is categorized as Christian fiction, the religious/spiritual references were only a blip. The sexual scenes were not graphic, and I didn’t have to skip over anything. 😉

I’ll admit to being enthralled while I was reading. I’ve slurped up all of Philippa Gregory’s books and have done a fair amount of research on this time period. Unfortunately, though, this book doesn’t give the reader much to chew on. Most conflict is resolved fairly quickly, and it’s a fairly short book to begin with.

To sum it all up, let me just say this: It was good but not great.

Rating: 85 out of 100

You can check out the author’s website here.

| Tags: , , , , , 7 comments »

7 Responses to “Review – A Constant Heart (ARC)”

  1. Elizabeth

    I’m really enjoying the way you write reviews. Straightforward and to the point… love it.

    [Reply]

  2. Sarah

    I’m going to give this one a whirl. I adore Philippa Gregory, as well, and am fairly knowledgeable about the Tudor period.

    Your reviews are terrific! Keep up the great work !:)

    [Reply]

  3. melanie

    aren’t you brave reading Christian fiction? i don’t read it, otherwise, i’d have to renounce my faith – it’s usually such junk. nice to see it may be improving. 🙂

    [Reply]

  4. Jessica

    I agree with Melanie! Brave. It does sound interesting though. Your review made me want to go snatch it up!

    [Reply]

  5. Katherine

    I heard about this book through LTER, even though I joined too late to request it. Sounds good, though!

    [Reply]

  6. kegsoccer

    Cover is beautiful though…. I don’t know why all of a sudden I’m so interested in cover art!

    [Reply]

  7. Lanna

    The cover art of this book is beautiful and the story does not disappoint. This is billed as Christian romance, but it does not have the sanitized, colorless characters of others I have read in this genre. These characters have a reality to them and substance.
    Also a fabulous read by this author is “Chateau of Echoes” .

    [Reply]

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