My review of Songbird Karen Heenan

My monthly newsletter book reviews can be found on my Reviews of what I’m Reading page. But as I read more than one book a month, I leave other reviews here on my blog. They also get posted to Amazon and Goodreads.

I hadn’t known before reading Songbird about Henry VIII’s purchase of children for his Music. Although to modern minds it sounds horrific, Songbird shows that some benefited hugely from this practice, and the young Bess was one of these although not without a great deal of struggle and strife.

Songbird book cover

What I very much enjoyed about this book was how Heenan presented a great deal of historical detail without information dumping – a rare talent!

(Purchase Songbird here)

We are used to Tudor stories of the rich and famous, but to see them through the eyes of the common folk of the court and to hear of their own stories too, was fascinating. Ann Boleyn is portrayed here in very human terms, for better and worse!

Heenan builds wonderful word pictures of settings, so that I felt really present in the court and London of the time. Her characters are real, warts and all! Bess is a likeable protagonist, although there were times when I could have strangled her. My heart went out to Tom and I wasn’t at all sure what kind of resolution we would get. Which keeps you reading, of course.

A highly satisfying read. I have the next in series waiting on my TBR pile to enjoy at leisure some time soon.