John Tradescat is a gardener for Sir Robert Cecil who is the advisor for King James I. He is given free rein on what he can put in his garden. He travels around and brings back rareities for England. He ends up marrying the woman he is betrothed to Elizabeth. Their relationship is a complex one because he feels so duty bound to his master. With all that is going on around them, they need to figure out their life together to make things grow and blossom.
Phillipa Gregory is an amazing author. This is the second book that I have read by her. This one seemed to drag a little more because there was so much more going on during the time of 1603-1625 in England. It was well described and sometimes too well with a lot of words I found unnecessary. The characters stuck to their beliefs but I think that they took some things too far. The picture was interesting and the relationship John had with someone in the book completely shocked me! I knew it was part of that time but didn’t expect it to involve the main character.
As I said before the characters were very belief oriented. With King Charles marrying Henrietta Marie from France and the battle between the Catholics and the Protestants was very interesting. John really became a man of some one else and not so much for his family until he was faced with some tough decisions. I disliked him through out the book and was furious with how he treated his family. But by the end of the book, he finally saw what was important but bowed to the nobility when it was needed.
Liberties were taken with history but the main things that were going on had to be true. I had a tough time getting through a lot of it because so much was happening in my life. I look forward to reading the sequel Virgin Earth to see what happens to John’s son John in Virginia and to find out the outcome when he returns to England. I give it a 5/5 because it really did captivate me but at times was slow.
Now off to reading Hide by Lisa Gardner and then two romance stories. :)