In this rich portrait of an indomitable woman, Valerie Anand crafts an epic tale of sixteenth-century life in an England at a crossroads: poised between Reformation, Restoration and ruin.
Lady-in-waiting Jane Sweetwater’s resistance to the legendary attentions of Henry VIII may have saved her pretty neck, but her reward is a forced and unhappy marriage with a much older man and a harsh life on his farm. Her only consolation is that she still lives upon her beloved Exmoor, the bleak yet beautiful land that cradles Allerbrook House, her family home.
Played out in this remote, forbidding place, Jane’s long and storied life is fraught with change: her fiercely protective nature leads her to assume responsibility not only for her own husband and child, but also for the rebellious son of her wayward sister. In time, she regains the position of a woman with status and property, but she cannot ignore the rumblings from London, as the articles of faith change with every new coronation.
Jane’s small world is penetrated by plotting, treachery and even thwarted love as those she holds dearest are forced to choose between family loyalty and fealty to the crown..