The Heretics Wife: A Novel


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You can choose to subscribe to one or more of our feeds: There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later. Kindle Edition Verified Purchase. This book is a very vivid look at Tudor England and the religious strife that started to tear the country apart during that era. From the intimate of the individual to the grand of historical significance, this book portrays how the events of that era touch on people of all strata's and types. It makes us think and sympathize with the characters and just makes us experience this tragic, viseral world.

I enjoyed seeing Vantrease's characters, both real and imagined, overcome obstacles, fall to martyrdom, and just struggle to find a balance between family and faith.

The Heretic's Wife

Vantrease's main character, Kate Gough, really struck with me. She's a very strong woman who has gone through much in her life; in the end, I think, she is able to find her place and some happiness even though much tragedy came before. I enjoyed seeing how she wasn't afraid to confront the demons of her time for her family and loved ones. From her brother to her husband, she faces even her biggest enemy, face-to-face, in an effort to save lives and hearts. And yet, for all the bravery and strength of a lioness this woman has, there's a very tender side to her as well.

Several times it's proven that she strives for love, family, and children above most else in her life. All around, she's a very well-balanced character that I felt for, cried for, and fell in love with. I also vastly enjoyed the take on real historical individuals the author brought to life. I felt they all were well rounded people the reader could relate to, despite station or personality. Even the big antagonist of the book, Thomas More, was sympathetic for the reader in that I could see how he became the way he was.

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In a more sedate or calm era, religiously speaking, this man might have been considered a saint or great helper to the people. Instead, he sees his world and beloved religion being attacked from all quarters and defends it to the best of his ability. While I definitely don't agree with his actions nor his views, I grew to care for him as a man slowly sliding into madness and religious fanaticism due to the pressures on his beloved faith. The world of religious strife and divisions that Vantrease brings to life just makes me shudder. I think anyone reading this book can agree that a new love for our freedoms of speech, thought, and religion came to light after reading this.

Being in a country where the wrong word can get you burned alive is a terrifying world indeed. Vantrease brings it to vivid, terrifying life, all the while also bringing the business of bustling merchant town Antwerp and the glitter of the royal Tudor court to life as well. I felt transported and that's the mark of any well-written historical novel. This book definitely shines as a wonderful example of historical fiction at its best. The reader is drawn into the events and atmosphere of the times seamlessly.

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The characters become people known and loved, sympathized with and cried over. I adored every word. And while it took me a while to get into the book due to the holiday season, once I was in, it was a straight shot to the end. I loved every word. Brenda Rickman Vantrease is truly one of the exceptional historical novelists working today. As she so masterfully established in her previous novels, Ms Vantrease knows how to mine that explosive turf between absolute adherence to established faith and rebellion against a despotic church in order to tell her story, plunging us into a world not often explored.

The heroine of the title, Kate Gough, is sister to a bookseller arrested for heresy, both descendants of a family which has for centuries participated in reformist book selling. Forced to take charge of her destiny, Kate becomes involved in Thomas More's relentless pursuit and persecution of Protestants, even as their sovereign King Henry grows determined to wed Anne Boleyn, who is inclined to Lutheranism. The title, however, is misleading, as this is less a novel about one woman's fight for the right to live and worship freely as it is the epic account of an entire nation caught in the convulsions of change, with More himself - strident, self-flagellating, obdurate and ultimately terrifying - taking center stage in his almost single-handed attempt to stem the tide that will sweep away his entire existence.

Entwined story lines alternate between More's descent into righteous fury; a remarkably fresh depiction of the catalyst herself, Anne Boleyn; and of Kate's struggles to assist her reformist allies, even as she too finds herself caught up in the course of inexorable transformation. While less focused than her previous works, Ms Vantrease's "The Heretic's Wife" makes up for the lack with its ambitious scope and compelling lack of sentimentality; she does not shy away from the horrors visited on those who opposed king and state, even as she offers a riveting personal look at the risks taken, and sacrifices made, by many courageous men and women who believed in championing their faith during a perilous and ruthless time.

The love story that is woven through the historical events completely fits and does not distract from the meat of the facts. You'll rethink Sir Thomas More as being "a man for all seasons. One person found this helpful. See all 28 reviews. Most recent customer reviews. Published 5 months ago. Published 1 year ago. Published on August 27, Published on May 13, Published on March 29, Published on November 1, Published on October 18, Published on July 19, Published on June 17, Published on May 8, There's a problem loading this menu right now.

Get fast, free shipping with Amazon Prime. Your recently viewed items and featured recommendations. View or edit your browsing history. This was so good. Well written and researched with great fictional characters and well drawn actual historic figures. Not to long not to short. Sep 26, Shawn Spjut rated it really liked it.

Several years ago I purchased Ms. People persecuted and burned at the stake by individuals such as Sir Thomas More, Thomas Cromwell , John Fisher and Mary Queen of Scots to name only a few ; who believed themselves to be the ambassadors of God, the Holy Roman Papacy, and King; men and women convinced that it was their responsibility to eradicate, at all costs, any and all who would try and advocate for religious, government, or social reform.

But even more than that, it is a reminder that we in America and other democratic countries , live off the freedoms that our ancestors paid dearly for. Nov 27, Ian Wood rated it did not like it.

This is the complete review as it appears at my blog dedicated to reading, writing no 'rithmatic! Blog reviews often contain links which are not reproduced here, nor will updates or modifications to the blog review be replicated here.

The Heretic’s Wife

Graphic and children's reviews on the blog typically feature two or three images from the book's interior, which are not reproduced here. Note that I don't really do stars. To me a book is either worth reading or it isn't. I can't rate it three- This is the complete review as it appears at my blog dedicated to reading, writing no 'rithmatic! I can't rate it three-fifths worth reading!

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The only reason I've relented and started putting stars up there is to credit the good ones, which were being unfairly uncredited. So, all you'll ever see from me is a five-star or a one-star since no stars isn't a rating, unfortunately. The version I listened to was the audio book read by Davina Porter. She did an acceptable job. Set at the time when Henry 8 was trying to talk the Pope into letting him marry Anne Boleyn which turned into a disaster for both, but did spawn Elizabeth 1 , this novel focuses on booksellers who are purveying the English translation of the Bible, something which the idiot Pope had declared illegal.

They took their censorship seriously back then, and death awaited anyone who flouted the Catholic global dictatorship. Unfortunately, this novel moved way too slowly for me, and dithered and dallied when I wanted to get on with the story. There is no logical or rational reason why historical fiction should routinely run to four, five, six, seven, eight hundred pages!

What it is which drives authors to do this, I think, is that they hate to waste all the research they did and consequently feel like they have to cram it in somewhere. Worse than this, they feel they have to draft-in every historical person they can think of from the period, which is nothing more than tediously pretentious name-dropping and turns me right off a novel. It's like a kid's time travel movie where they run into famous people like Benjamin Franklin it's always Franklin isn't it?! It's celebrity worshiping gibberish and it simply doesn't work. On the other hand they seem to me to be insulting titles, implying as they do that the woman in question is no more than a possession of the man.

I've reviewed about four such novels prior to this one, and they were batting a. Now the balance is tipped negatively and I think I am no longer inclined to pick up any more such titles, lackluster as they've been!

Read LaVonne's reviews (and more) on her other blog!

The Heretic's Wife. Brenda Rickman Vantrease, Author. St. Martin's $ (p ) ISBN More By and About This Author. Start by marking “The Heretic’s Wife” as Want to Read: Tudor England is a perilous place for booksellers Kate Gough and her brother John, who sell forbidden translations of the Bible. Brenda Rickman Vantrease (born in ) is a former librarian and English teacher from.

What finally killed this particular one for me was the relatively modern language and idiom. It kept kicking me out of the story. I think it would have been tedious to have read this in the same English which Shakespeare knew, or in which the King James Bible was written, but there had to be a happier compromise than this one. In the end, I couldn't get into it and I can't recommend it based on the portion I covered. This book is a very vivid look at Tudor England and the religious strife that started to tear the country apart during that era.

From the intimate of the individual to the grand of historical significance, this book portrays how the events of that era touch on people of all strata's and types. It makes us think and sympathize with the characters and just makes us experience this tragic, viseral world.

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Well written and researched with great fictional characters and well drawn actual historic figures. When he is inevitably arrested, Kate bravely searches the prisons and even begs for help from Thomas More's daughter, who happens into their bookshop one day. You'll rethink Sir Thomas More as being "a man for all seasons. Books of the Week. Amazon Restaurants Food delivery from local restaurants.

I enjoyed seeing Vantrease's characters, both real and imagined, overcome obstacles, fall to ma This book is a very vivid look at Tudor England and the religious strife that started to tear the country apart during that era. I enjoyed seeing Vantrease's characters, both real and imagined, overcome obstacles, fall to martyrdom, and just struggle to find a balance between family and faith.

Vantrease's main character, Kate Gough, really struck with me. She's a very strong woman who has gone through much in her life; in the end, I think, she is able to find her place and some happiness even though much tragedy came before. I enjoyed seeing how she wasn't afraid to confront the demons of her time for her family and loved ones. From her brother to her husband, she faces even her biggest enemy, face-to-face, in an effort to save lives and hearts.

And yet, for all the bravery and strength of a lioness this woman has, there's a very tender side to her as well. Several times it's proven that she strives for love, family, and children above most else in her life. All around, she's a very well-balanced character that I felt for, cried for, and fell in love with. I also vastly enjoyed the take on real historical individuals the author brought to life.

I felt they all were well rounded people the reader could relate to, despite station or personality. Even the big antagonist of the book, Thomas More, was sympathetic for the reader in that I could see how he became the way he was. In a more sedate or calm era, religiously speaking, this man might have been considered a saint or great helper to the people. Instead, he sees his world and beloved religion being attacked from all quarters and defends it to the best of his ability. While I definitely don't agree with his actions nor his views, I grew to care for him as a man slowly sliding into madness and religious fanaticism due to the pressures on his beloved faith.

The world of religious strife and divisions that Vantrease brings to life just makes me shudder. I think anyone reading this book can agree that a new love for our freedoms of speech, thought, and religion came to light after reading this. Being in a country where the wrong word can get you burned alive is a terrifying world indeed. Vantrease brings it to vivid, terrifying life, all the while also bringing the business of bustling merchant town Antwerp and the glitter of the royal Tudor court to life as well.

I felt transported and that's the mark of any well-written historical novel. This book definitely shines as a wonderful example of historical fiction at its best. The reader is drawn into the events and atmosphere of the times seamlessly. The characters become people known and loved, sympathized with and cried over. I adored every word. And while it took me a while to get into the book due to the holiday season, once I was in, it was a straight shot to the end.

I loved every word. Jul 29, Kristen rated it it was amazing Shelves: This was a wonderful story, with everything well-written, entertaining historical fiction should be! Kate Gough is the sister of a bookseller in Tudor England. Unfortunately, they are also supporters, and, more dangerously, secret sellers, of the new English versions of the bible.

Since this is considered heresy, and the zealot Sir Thomas More is burning herectics as fast as he can arrest them, Kate's brother is risking everything. When he is inevitably arrested, Kate bravely searches the prisons This was a wonderful story, with everything well-written, entertaining historical fiction should be! When he is inevitably arrested, Kate bravely searches the prisons and even begs for help from Thomas More's daughter, who happens into their bookshop one day.

Kate's brother is eventually released, but is a broken man and gives up printing and heresy to move to the country with his wife and child. Kate, however, has found the fire of change lit in herself, and soon meets and marries one of the supporters of William Tyndale, the first person to print and distribute English language bibles in direct defiance of the church and King Henry VIII.

Kate's life takes a series of dangerous and exciting twists and turns, all involving the winds of change that the reformation of the Church would eventually bring. This book has wonderful flow. The story sails along in such an effortless way that you can't seem to put it down. Although it is just over pages long, it felt short, and was an extremely easy and enjoyable read. The characters, especially Kate, are all well-written and three-dimensional, and you cannot help but be carried along with them as the story progresses.

Even the minor characters who are briefly part of the plot are so realistic [and of course, a number of real people make up the characters in this story so they actually lived and did many of the things the author describes] that you are completely immersed in the story.

The times described in this book were very dangerous, and many people were tortured and killed in the pursuit of reforming the corrupt Catholic church, so there are some difficult and unpleasant things that happen to the characters. But the violence was not excessive, and was only described in sufficient detail to help the reader understand what these times were actually like. The story is so engrossing that it offsets any of the difficult passages.

I have read other books by this author, and find her to be an excellent writer of historical fiction. She manages to combine real historical events with fictional characters and storylines she creates in such a seamless way that you almost believe everyone in her books was part of the real history.

She also has a wonderful way with characters, and creates a pathos and dignity in all the characters in this book that makes them people you actively root for, or against, depending on how you feel about the plot. Definitely recommended to fans of the Tudor period, Henry VIII, the religious battles of the times, or just general historical fiction lovers.

Apr 02, Rachel rated it it was ok.

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I was so intrigued by the cover, and was so excited to read this book! It's quite a thick book, but it only took me a day to read. I really was so happy about the beginning of the books and was in love with it. I didn't really like the ending though. Kate was such a wonderful character, I loved her from the beginning. She was so independent, and courageous. I enjoy books where the girl main character is disguised as a man for a little while. They are really interesting, showing the struggles of I was so intrigued by the cover, and was so excited to read this book!

They are really interesting, showing the struggles of them trying to seem tougher, and rougher, and more manlike. I'm also glad that that part didn't last for too long, because they can get a little bit awkward sometimes. All the characters were very well developed, and I really liked them all. I also found it quite interesting as it was switching between characters from chapter to chapter.

Sometimes it did get a little confusing, but overall I think that aspect was pretty well written. I love books that have anything to do with William Tyndale, and didn't find it to be too anti-catholic.

The Neff Review: THE HERETIC'S WIFE by Brenda Rickman Vantrease

I know that many people would disagree, but the catholics did have a dark past of persecuting protestants, and it didn't portray anything that wouldn't have happened. I'm not a fan of romance, and so I had to skip over quite a few parts in the book. I found it to be way to mushy, and not for teens. Being a teen myself, I was quite uncomfortable at many places, thus why I had to skip over them.

I also found it rather unrealistic that she would marry a man after knowing him for so little time. I found the ending rather disappointing. I did find the captain to be a rather nice character, but it seemed to me that that aspect was rather predictable. It wasn't too mushy, better than her first marriage.

I like how this book also was encouraging in my faith, making me wonder if I would stay strong if I was in their place. Apr 10, Rev. Linda rated it it was amazing Shelves: When I was recently in TN at one of my favorite local bookstores, Parnassus in Green Hills, the owner recommended this author, knowing that she is a local writer and I am originally from Nashville.