Lady In Waiting

Lady In Waiting
If you like contemporary fiction with a bit of a historical twist, Lady In Waiting should appeal to you. Written by Susan Meissner, the book tells the story of two Janes whose lives are interwoven because of a ring: the 16th century Lady Jane Grey who was Queen of England for 9 days, and 21st century Jane Lindsay who manages an antique shop.

The fictionalized account of Lady Jane’s life is told through the friendship with a young 15 year old seamstress, Lucy. Due to their close ages, the two become friends and Lady Jane shares her hurts and aspirations with Lucy. In love with Edward Seymour but betrothed to Guildford Dudley, it appears she is forced to marry him. Upon the death of the king, Jane who is fourth in line succeeds to the throne of England without the approval of the Privy Council. Ruling for a short 9 days, she is dethroned by her cousin and rightful heir, Mary. Under Mary, Catholicism is returned to the empire after a 24 year absence. Jane, a Reformer, refuses to convert to Catholicism and seals her fate by refusing to renounce the Church of England.

Jane Lindsay, a loving mother and wife, is abandoned when her husband of 22 years walks out on her. As Jane’s story unfolds, we learn she has always let others make life’s important decisions from permitting her parents to choose her college major and boyfriends to letting her husband decide all the issues in their married lives. Forced to examine her life when Brad walks out, Jane begins a journey of self-discovery.
As both women journey through life, each draws on her faith and, at times, feels as though God has given her a burden that is greater than she can bear. Yet, in the end, they each are able to evaluate what they stand for as they fight for what they believe in and desire.

The lesson to the reader, as illustrated through the lives of the two Janes, is that we always have a choice and are responsible for our own actions. Sometimes we choose by our inaction and place blame on others around us; however, we must learn that inaction is a choice by default.

The book concludes with a reader’s guide: a list of questions designed to deepen your reading experience or to spur book club discussion.

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