Author: Laura Sullivan
Genre: Historical Fiction, YA
Release Date: May 8th, 2012
Eliza dreams of being a playwright for the king’s theater, where she will be admired for her witty turns of phrase rather than her father’s wealth.
Beth is beautiful as the day but poor as a church mouse, so she must marry well, despite her love for her childhood sweetheart.
Zabby comes to England to further her scientific studies—and ends up saving the life of King Charles II. Soon her friendship with him becomes a dangerous, impossible obsession. Though she knows she should stay away from the young, handsome king, Charles has a new bride, Queen Catherine, and a queen needs ladies in waiting.
And so Zabby, Beth, and Eliza, three Elizabeths from very different walks of life, find themselves at the center of the most scandal-filled court that England has ever seen. --Goodreads
Before I say anything too much, I am a big history geek. Whether the material is fiction, based around a historical time period or culture that I just happen to enjoy or a stronger route with characters based on real historical figures but in a more fictional story setting. I even have been known on numerous occasions to “study” for fun by reading quite a bit of non-fiction on my favorite subjects.
Ladies in Waiting was something I looked forward to for history, background, and characters. Having already experienced Ms. Sullivan’s writing before, I was excited to read this. It was also different from what I had already read from her writing as well so it was new.
I felt this was a fresh YA historical that was very character-driven and realistic. I had some slight issues though. It wasn’t that I didn’t enjoy the story, because I did. It was something I read easily and was entertaining-- a fresh face into the YA genre where readers are normally bombarded with creatures like vampires and werewolves. I liked the smoothness of the words and imaginative details throughout. Each character had a unique personality, yet they blended well amongst each other.
So my problems were that I just didn’t feel a great connection with most of the characters other than Zabby--who seemed to have the most interesting story for me. Or maybe it was just me, I’m not sure. Yes, I felt the characters were developed well and each had their unique personality trait… but when it came to presenting their “stories”, their POVs, I just didn’t seem to connect with them so well other than Zabby. I just didn’t care about the others too much or whatever happened to them. And that can be a hard thing for a reader. I love connecting with the characters. At least I connected with one of the important ones here though.
At times I felt a little drawn back from the story because I didn’t feel any action. This isn’t really an action piece or any kind of novel I feel that has some kind of heavy agenda. To simply put it, it’s about three unique ladies in waiting to Queen Catherine and their changing lives-- it can be a bit slow in some parts, but I did find it really interesting otherwise with their stories. It was realistic. There are some shifts so that the reader can get to know a bit about each girl and I particularly liked that. It was just unfortunate like I said before that the only one I felt the most connection with was Zabby. I would have liked to know Eliza more, she was the playwright. :)
The ending took me by complete surprise. I don’t want to give anything away because I don’t use spoilers in reviews, but it will take you a bit off guard. It’s not an ending that I really expected-- I can’t honestly say yet if it’s good or bad, I’m still thinking it over. That was another thing I did like about Ladies in Waiting, it made me think a bit at the end of it.
In my honest opinion, I thought “Brightwing”, written under Laura Sullivan’s pseudonym, Sullivan Lee, was more of a favorite compared to Ladies in Waiting. Which did surprise me a bit because I’m more of a YA reader than adult in most cases.
All in all though, I did enjoy this and I’m thankful I had the opportunity to read. Thank you.