Set during a time when women had little or no agency, this story of an infamous scandal comes from the perspective of a woman who was involved. Jacobean London is vividly evoked in all its glitter and grime and Anne Turner, a compelling narrator, is portrayed without judgement. There's nothing like immersing yourself into another person's life, I was riveted from page one right to the bitter end.
I knocked at my own chamber door and heard Frankie bid us enter. As Carr passed me, his strong, sweet perfume filled my nose and I had a wild urge to touch him. His nearness to King and throne was as a saint's to God. His glamour, the richness with which he was encased, the houses in which he lived, the beauty with which he himself gleamed, the deference with which he was treated - I wanted these. Although I felt nothing for him, I understood the love between him and Frankie; there were as perfectly matched as Carr's earring to his clothes. Even before I closed the door they had reached for each other, full of their own daring, so fully occupying each other's sight that the risks were nothing but little chittering creatures on the far horizon.