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Blog Tour & Giveaway: The Sumerton Women by D.L. Bogdan

[ 47 ] April 15, 2012 |

Please join D.L. Bogdan, author of The Sumerton Women, as she tours the blogosphere with Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours!

Enter to win a copy below – open internationally!

Reviewed by Colleen Turner

When Lady Cecily Burkhart’s parents die of the sweating sickness in 1527, the orphaned eight year old is sent as ward to the Pierce family at Castle Sumerton. The Pierce family – Hal Pierce (Lord Sumerton), Grace Pierce (Lady Sumerton) and their children, Mirabella and Brey – are kind and loving to their new addition. Cecily is a girl with a great fortune and they plan to align their families by marrying her to Brey. Even with their exterior happiness, however, there seems to be a secret sadness lurking below the surface at Sumerton, one that innocent Cecily lifts with her joy and affection.

As a child Cecily loves Brey and is happy with her planned future of marrying him and becoming Lady Sumerton. Mirabella is determined to have her own dream of becoming a nun and escaping the world she sees as shallow and corrupt come true. Both of the Sumerton Women are captivated by Father Alec, the family’s tutor and chaplain, and both grow under their special relationships with him. But when the dark secret lurking below the surface of Sumerton is revealed it starts the downward spiral of the family, one that seems to see no shortage of betrayal and vengeance. Will any of them be able to seek forgiveness and make a life for themselves when the many lies are finally revealed?

Set against the backdrop of Henry VIII’s reign, his break from the Roman Catholic Church and the religious reformation that occurred, this was an interesting new angle to a time period I love. Having Mirabella ensconced in a monastery that is brutally ransacked and dissolved around her and seeing her fear for what else she can do with her life and for her God, as well as having Father Alec at the forefront of Archbishop Cranmer’s reformation work, gave insight into a part of Tudor England I knew little about.

That being said, the amount of sadness, death and destruction in The Sumerton Women became almost too much to bear at times. I kept wondering when something good would happen to the family and, when a ray of hope would shine through, it was almost instantly extinguished with another depressing event. Mirabella might be one of the vilest characters I have encountered in a while. She reminds me of the Evil Queen from Snow White, beautiful but bitter and cruel while always finding a way to justify her hatred. Cecily, in contrast, is a wonderful character that at times almost seems too forgiving and kind. The other characters fall somewhere in between, all flawed, relatable and well developed.

It is easy to see the grand message of the book once finished: that forgiveness, both for yourself and for others, is the only way to heal your life, let go of the past and move on. That being said, I just wish The Sumerton Women could have come to the message with less heartache for all the characters. All in all, the book was definitely well written and I would be happy to see what other books the author has to offer.

Rating: ★★★☆☆ 

Colleen lives in Tampa, Florida with her husband, son, their dog Oliver and their fish Finn. When not working or taking care of her family she has her nose stuck in a book (and, let’s face it, often when she is working or taking care of her family as well). Nothing excites her more than discovering a new author to obsess over or a hidden jewel of a book to worship.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Kensington. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.
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Category: Genre Fiction, Giveaways, Historical, Literature & Fiction

Comments (47)

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  1. 45

    […] D.L. Bogdan is an ongoing student of history, musician, and avid reader who enjoys travel, the outdoors, and time with her family and friends. She is a proud wife and mother who makes her home in central Wisconsin. She is the author of Secrets of the Tudor Court, Rivals in the Tudor Court and The Sumerton Women (see our review). […]

  2. 44
    jeannie S. says:

    My mother loves historical fiction and I would love to win this for her.

  3. 43
    Susan says:

    I’m a big fan of historical fiction and appreciate all the work the author(s) put into making sure that they are describing the period acurately.

  4. 42
    SoftFuzzySweater says:

    Henry VIII was a cruel and evil tyrant even though he ended up transforming the reformation, he did so inadvertantly. Still he and his era are extremely mesmerising.

    annfesATyahooDOTcom

  5. 41
    Christina K. says:

    I love the time period and the characters!

  6. 40
    julia g says:

    I find the Tudor era facinating.

  7. 39
    Lori says:

    Secrets, power and treachery don’t always make for a good read, but when they’re woven into a compelling plot, the result can be hard to resist.

  8. 38

    Great review, Colleen!

    Books centred around King Henry VIII always appeal to me – just something fascinating about that era.
    Thank you for sponsoring this giveaway.

    Patricia
    Patricia Blomeley-Maddigan recently posted..“The Pineville Heist” by Lee Chambers

  9. 37
    Gloria Walshver says:

    Reading historical novels inspires me to learn about how women behaved in the era of Henry the 8th’

  10. 36
    Beth C says:

    Enjoy historical books.
    pbclark(at)netins(dot)net

  11. 35
    Kelly R says:

    I want to see what the secret is….

  12. 34
    bn100 says:

    The historical elements are appealing.

  13. 33
    Maureen says:

    I want to know what the dark secret is.

  14. 32
    Rachel W. says:

    I love books that are set in Tudor England- thanks for the giveaway!

    Rachelhwallen@gmail.com

  15. 31
    Carolyn says:

    Thanks for a great giveaway!

    Gemmamoy at hotmail dot com

  16. 30

    added this giveaway to Murphy’s Library Giveaway Post
    faith hope & cherrytea recently posted..Teacup Tuesday 4/17

  17. 29

    This is my favorite time period to read about.

    wfnren(at)aol(dot)com
    Wendy Newcomb recently posted..Shades of Earl Grey – Review

  18. 28
    rhonda says:

    I love historical novels.

  19. 27
    Cindi says:

    The time period and the idea of forgiveness healing our lives…
    Many thanks, Cindi

  20. 26
    Diane B. says:

    I love Historical Fiction. I am always interested in how women lived & thought during this time period. Thanks for the chance to win this.

  21. 25
    lynette355 says:

    the vilest characters I have encountered

  22. 24
    Jennifer C. says:

    I love historical fiction! I especially love books that take place during the reign of Henry VIII!

  23. 23
    Arash Naghdi says:

    I like historical fiction books

  24. 22
    debbie f says:

    I love period piece books.

  25. 21
    Evan says:

    The era … being 1527, it was nearly 500 years back. Impressive.

  26. 20
    Na says:

    I tend to shy away from stories set during the Tudors but I want to change this. Lately I’ve seen many stories in this time period that have interested me, including this book.

  27. 19
    Margaret says:

    I love historical fiction.

  28. 18
    Kristin T. says:

    I just posted my review of this book yesterday. I really enjoyed the book, although I definitely agree with you that Mirabella could be compared to the evil queen in Snow White – she was awful at times!

    No need to enter me in the giveaway as I already have the book – just wanted to say nice review!
    Kristin T. recently posted..Blog Tour and Review: The Sumerton Women by D.L. Bogdan

  29. 17
    Marlene V says:

    I love the era and this sounds like a great read.

  30. 16
    gahome2mom says:

    I think the cover is very inviting. lol Plus, Mirabella wants us to read it. :) Thanks..
    gahome2mom recently posted..Mo Willem’s Pigeon and Pals: Complete Cartoon Collection, VOL 1 & 2

  31. 15
    Dina says:

    I love historical fiction – especially when it’s well-written.
    Dina recently posted..Book Review and #Giveaway: An Unexpected Guest by Anne Korkeakivi {3 Winners}

  32. 14
    Vesper says:

    I love books based on history and being from England I know the history of this era well

  33. 13
    Oksana says:

    I think the most appealing thing about this book is that it is a historical fiction set against the time of Henry VIII. Though as far as I can understand the plot will have a little to do with the intrigues of Henry VIII’s court, still I believe it would be enjoyable reading which will allow to find out more about the Tudors’ era.

  34. 12
    Diana Leigh says:

    I’m so intrigued by the Tudor period — would love a chance to win this book!

  35. 11
    Jasmyn says:

    I love reading about this time in historical fiction, especially about families.

  36. 10
    Lisa Garrett says:

    I want to see what the dark secret is!

    • 10.1
      Colleen Turner says:

      Oh it’s pretty juicy :)!!! I will keep my finger’s crossed you get a chance to win and see for yourself!

  37. 9
    Liz R says:

    I love reading books set in the Tudor time period and this sounds like a good read!

  38. 8

    I think the cover of this one is reall quiet striking and the premise make it seem like a book that is right up my alley.

    Thank you for the giveaway Happy Blogging and Reading!
    Kimberly @ Turning The Pages recently posted..Lover Mine (Black Dagger Brotherhood #8) by J.R. Ward

  39. 7
    Jennygirl says:

    Excellent review. My goodness those girls couldn’t be farther apart in terms of traits. A side of Tudor England I also haven’t read. Thanks!
    Jennygirl recently posted..Review: A Partial History of Lost Causes by Jennifer duBois

  40. 6
    Anne says:

    Historical fiction which would be captivating especially for the period.

  41. 5
    Patty says:

    It is always interesting to see a new side of a well documented period in time. Thanks for the balanced review
    Patty recently posted..The Dressmaker of Khair Khana by Gayle Tzemach Lemmon – Blog Tour and Book #Review

  42. 4

    This book appeals to me as I love historical fiction books especially from this time period. Thank you for the chance to win

    griperang at embarqmail dot com

  43. 3
    Carol Wong says:

    Hi Colleen, thank you for this review. If the gloom and destruction were almost too much for you, it is guranteed to depress me so I will pass on this one and have more time to read the historicals that I already have. I am very glad that you made that point, for others it might not matter but for me, it is an important point.

    Carol Wong

  44. 2
    Disincentive says:

    Cover really catched my eye! It’s amazing. And I haven’t read a historical fiction in long time, but this one seems like amazing story.
    Disincentive recently posted..[08] Taste by Kate Evangelista – Book Trailer and Excerpt Reveal

  45. 1
    Ellie says:

    The era and the plot and characters are all compelling and special.

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