The Heretic's Wifeby Vantrease, Brenda Rickman
During the reign of Henry VIII, Kate Goth and her brother run a small bookshop in London. They also import Protestant reformist books that are considered heretical by the Catholic hierarchy. Even King Henry opposes heretical thinking, although he is in the midst of trying to divorce his wife Catherine of Aragon so that he can marry Anne Boleyn and is wavering in his convictions. After Kate's brother is imprisoned and is forced to recant his Protestant views under torture, Kate decides to take her brother's place in meeting the ship carrying the reformist books. While doing so, she meets a remarkable young man named John Frith, a reformist writer fleeing England because he is sought by Sir Thomas More, who is determined to rid England of heretical thinkers.
Vantrease tells the heartfelt story of real-life 16th century reformist John Frith, who was persecuted in England because of his reformist views and his work with William Tyndale translating the Bible into English. Like Philippa Gregory, Vantrease writes about the reign of the Tudors, a dramatic period in history. However, while Gregory's stories are about the kings, queens and courtiers, Vantrease's story is about those who were persecuted for their religious convictions during Henry VIII's reign. This is an engrossing story, with well-developed characters, a vivid setting and enough narrative momentum to keep the reader involved until the bittersweet ending.
Reviewed by nk, 05/11. Other reviews by nk. Have you read this book? Tell us what you think!