Lady of the Roses: A Novel of the Wars of the Roses

Lady of the Roses: A Novel of the Wars of the Roses - Sandra Worth When I first started this book, I wasnt sure that I was going to enjoy it. But as I got into the book deeper I had a greater appreciation for Lady Isobel.

As a young woman she was blinded by love for Sir John Neville, but knows that nothing can ever come of it, especially since they are different sides of the war, the Lancastrians and the Yorkists. Somehow Queen Marguerite de Anjou finally agrees to the match of Lady Isobel and Sir John.
Their love story is one of the greats, a true love of each other, not just a match for monetary gain. While Marguerite de Anjou wrecked havoc on the countryside trying to secure the throne for her son, Lady Isobel is busy trying to manage the small estate that she and her husband live on, and raise their growing family. There is never enough money and the constant fear for her husband keeps Isobel on her toes. Her friend and lady in waiting, Ursula is a calming force in her life, always there at her side, and with her children and the love of her husband, Isobel thinks that life is eventually going to calm down.
After the deposing King Henry from the throne, and Edward, Earl of March accends the throne. The entire country breathes a sigh of relief, as the handsome King Edward slowly starts to bring peace back through the country. At least, until the secret marriage of Edward and Elizabeth Woodville is revealed. Isobel and Ursula know that nothing good can come from this marriage and most of the gentry is up in arms, as this low-born commoner is raised to queen of England, and slowly, her entire family starts taking larger portions of revenue, marrying her siblings into the noble families, and arranging marriages to their benefit, and no one elses. Sir John rises in the gentry, becoming Earl of Northumerland, and then shortly afterwards its taken away, and given to one of the Percies, which makes life hard again. As much as John did for his King, it was slowly stripped away by the queen and her favorites, once again plunging the country into civil war. As things got worse for England, Sir John Neville, couldnt help but question where his loyalty really was. As much as he had done for his king, it had come to naught, and everything that he had taken away, he decided to stand with his brother, Warwick, the Kingmaker. As much as he couldnt stand what was happening to his country, he couldnt turn on his King. When he finally met his end at the battle of Barnet, it was discovered that he wore the Kings colors under his armor. Isobel through all of this tries to keep her family together and her children shielded from as much of the turmoil as possible. Richard of Gloucester, the younger brother of King Edward and pupil of Sir John was just as torn as John Neville was. Anne, the younger daughter of Warwick, and wife of Richard, promises Isobel that they will take wardship of her young son George, so that he doesnt fall into the grasp of the Woodville family, allowing her to die in peace surrounded by her friends. One wonders if King Edward ever fully realized the inner turmoil of his faithful subjects.

Through the entire book, one finds themselves placing themselves into the shoes of the characters, and wondering how things would have been different if one or another event hadn't happened. I enjoyed the read immensely. It is definitely a page turner!