The House Of Allerbrook
Mira, Oct 2008, $13.95
In 1535 unmarried Sybil Sweetwater is unable to take her post at court because she is carrying the child of married tenant farmer Andrew Shearer. Her parents send Sybil into family exile and their sixteen year old daughter pragmatic Jane is to serve at the court of King Henry VIII. Jane enjoys her time there especially as a lady-in-waiting to Queen Anne of Cleves but, her monarch’s persistent sexual assaults frighten her so she flees the court for Allerbrook assisted by Peter Carew.
Jane’s brother Francis, now the family patriarch, is irate with his sibling’s failure to appease the appetite of the king and bring acclaim not disdain on the Sweetwater family. Additionally, a witness at the court fabricates what occurred. To punish Jane and appease King Henry, Francis forces Jane to marry much older farmer Harry Hudd. Although not used to the hard working of the land, Jane adjusts in part because of their son Tobias. When her brother suddenly dies, Allerbrook becomes Jane’s; she plans changes in the lifestyles of her and her child.
This engaging sixteenth century historical tale pulls no punches when it comes to the plight of women of all walks of life in England as females are less valuable than cattle except in terms of bearing an heir. Told over five decades, fans who enjoy a sweeping saga will appreciate the impact of royal intrigue on the HOUSE OF ALLERBROOK.