How can a book be both haunting and hopeful? Susan Meissner manages it with a beautifully gentle pen in "Lady in Waiting".
I generally don't choose books whose plots focus on a couple with marital difficulties. I must confess, if the lure of sixteenth-century England had not caught my attention, I might not have chosen this one. And even as I struggled to identify with our modern day Jane, whose husband has decided he needs space, I eagerly consumed the pages dedicated to another Jane, one who lived in the 1500's.
A ring binds these two stories together. Found hidden within an ancient prayer book by Jane Lindsey, owner of an antique store in Upper West Side, Manhattan, the inscription on the inside of the band compels her to search out the original owner. As the story turns back in time to Lady Jane Grey, an elusive familiarity with that name whispered of a tragic end.
Meissner has a gift for creating beautiful pictures with her words, even when those pictures are filled with sorrow, longing, or uncertainty. Yet, with the inevitable events of history moving more swiftly than I wished for Lady Jane, Meissner leaves us with hope for Jane Lindsey. And in doing so, gifts us with hope for ourselves.
I would recommend this book without reservation to any woman who enjoys a touching tale. My thanks to WaterBrook Press for allowing me to read and review it.