Unabridged Chick

I'm Audra, a 30-something married lesbian. I love interesting heroines, gorgeous prose, place as character, and the occasional werewolf.
Pale Rose of England: A Novel of the Tudors - Sandra Worth This is the kind of historical novel that reminds me why I love the genre. It's meaty, it's exciting, it's engrossing, it's romantic, it's chilling, and it's absolutely un-put-down-able. This era (reign of Henry VII) is one I'm wholly unfamiliar with but Worth sets up the story and characters so well, I didn't find myself lost or confused or in need of an encyclopedia.The novel tells the story of Catherine Gordon, a Scottish noblewoman who is married to the man said to be the true King of England, Richard Plantagenet/Perkin Warbeck, even though he is branded an imposter by the reigning monarch, Henry VII. The plot covered in this novel is exciting enough, but I found Worth's characters to be so interesting and real, I cared about all of them -- even the horrible Henry VII.The romantic, clearly loving marriage between Catherine and Richard anchored the story for me; in an era when (I imagine) love matches were rare, Worth's depiction of these two made me fall in love with them -- and made me deeply invested in the survival of their marriage and family. At many times, I wished Worth would just lie and give me a few chapters of their bucolic happiness in a country estate, I liked them so much. This novel, however, encompasses so much more than just their marriage, and is really about Catherine Gordon -- not the Tudors nor Perkin Warbeck.Worth's skill as an author really shows in the development of Catherine. I imagine it must be challenging to imagining a historical figure wholly and envision why they responded or acted the way they did in a way that remains true to history and true to the author's conception of them. Worth's Catherine is a complicated woman who responds to the circumstances around her and does what she deems most moral and true to herself, and I found I genuinely liked her (even if I didn't agree with her opinions or life choices).I can't recommend this novel enough -- I just loved it and resented having to work rather than read! And, happily, Worth has published five other books for me to go back and devour while I wait for her newest!