To Die For - Sandra Byrd
by Dina L. Sleiman
Told from the first person point of view of Anne Boelyn’s good friend Meg, this story offers a thorough accounting of the evil and intrigue of the court through a set of untainted eyes, befitting a Christian book. If you’re a fan of Philippa Gregory’s Tudor novels, I think you will love this more innocent and spiritual, although equally artistic version, as well. The language is lovely and the story poignant as we travel with Meg through this treacherous time in history.
That being said, I have to admit that I am personally more of a fan of books that use history as a setting than books such as this one that use history as the actual plot. I’ve read Anne’s story too many times, I’m afraid, so it held no surprises for me. However, Meg’s story interwoven through the details of court life and politics definitely kept me turning pages. I found myself always searching for the next update on her struggles, relationships, and romances. And while any history fan is well aware that Anne’s story does not end well, Meg’s has a lovely and satisfying conclusion.
My favorite part of this novel was the spiritual aspect. Meg shows true love and faithfulness to Anne, to God, and to the man of her dreams. Although her romance with Will is interrupted by God’s individual calls on their lives, their sacrifices are rewarded and help them to grow in the Lord. I think too often novels put romantic love above all else, so I was pleased to see a novel where serving God and obeying his call received a higher priority.
The other spiritual element that really struck me was how valuable the word of God is. We take this for granted, forgetting those who struggled, suffered, and even gave their lives to offer us this amazing treasure. This book puts that into perspective.
Have you read any books about Tudor England? Do you like this time period? If so, what stands out to you?