Author: Katherine Longshore
Type: Young Adult
Genre: Historical Fiction
Tea: Lady Earl Grey, a classic with a twist.
Rating: 4 out of 5.
I previously found Gilt at Barnes & Noble over the summer, but didn't buy it then, though it intrigued me. When I found it at my library I just knew I had to read it. And I'm really glad I did.
First off the title itself is a great name for the novel. It suits it as the royal court in the Tudor era was very opulent and wealthy. It also fits as guilt is a prominent theme throughout the novel.
I didn't know much about Catherine "Cat" Howard until I read this novel. This isn't your typical historical fiction novel. It's like a cross between Gossip Girl and an episode of The Tudors, which is frankly what I imagine the court was like. The language, though not particular to that era, made the book go along quickly and makes it easier for a Young Adult reader to relate too.
Cat is your typical mean girl, a la Regina George in Mean Girls, and Kitty is the passive aggressive best friend that just can't seem to get out of her clutches. I know that there were liberties taken with historical fact and timing, etc, but I loved this book. It was juicy and it had me wanting to keep turning the pages. The only reason it's getting 4 stars instead of 5 is because the beginning started a little slow for me.
This novel made me want to learn more about Catherine Howard and her reign as queen. I also enjoyed that Ms. Longshore took a relatively unknown figure in this period, Katherine "Kitty" Tylney, and gave her a voice and a story.
Having been to London and several of the places mentioned (The Tower of London, the Hamptons, etc.) it really brought the novel to life. I can't wait to start her next novel, Tarnish, about Anne Boleyn.