Lady in Waiting by Susan Meissner

I couldn’t put this book down. More than once I stayed up well past 2 a.m. reading! It was well worth it though! Jane Lindsey is a modern day woman of the 21st century. She lives in Manhattan and runs an antique shop passed down from her aunt. Little does she realize that her passion for antiques would soon change her life. After 22 years of marriage she is shocked by her husband’s suggestion that they separate and reevaluate their relationship. Furthermore, he offers no explanation as to why.
At the same time, an English friend sends her a broken down old box supposedly filled with worthless relics of the past. To her surprise she finds an ancient ring in the binding of an ancient prayer book, with a Latin inscription inside the band and her name, “Jane”. She becomes obsessed to find out who this “Jane” was. Research yields information on a dressmaker from the 16th century employed by young Lady Jane Grey, 4th in line to be Queen of England.
The author weaves back and forth between the two women’s lives, their struggles and heart aches. Jane’s feeling of being trapped in her situation of her husband leaving, and Lady’s Jane’s at being bound to her position as royalty parallel each other.
While Jane is a fictional character, Lady Jane is a real person from the pages of history. I love historical fiction and learned so much about life for the working and royal class in the 16th century. It was as if I was there walking through the halls with Lady Jane. I got so involved that I felt the stress and emotional pain as Jane dealt with her failed marriage and with the pressure and disappoint Lady Jane faced.
There were spiritual lessons in this story I will not forget. One is about stepping out in faith and letting God guide me, no matter what the consequences or criticism of others. Toward the end of the book there are some thoughts on what marriage and love really is and what it truly takes to make a marriage work that I think every woman should read. I am copying it down and putting it in my journal it was so tremendous and life-changing. The ending was unusual and I felt satisfied and not left hanging. This is the BEST historical fiction I have read to date.
I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

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