Today we have a review from Noelle, she blogs at http://saylingaway.wordpress.com
Noelle chose to read Last child by Terry Tyler
Book Review: Last Child by Terry Tyler
I was introduced to Terry Tyler when I reviewed her previous book, Kings and Queens. This is the sequel, and if I liked the first book, which I definitely did, I like this one even better.
Kings and Queens is a modern day parallel to the sixteenth century saga of Henry VIII and his six wives, with property developer Harry Lanchester as the central character; it tells the story of his six wives through the eyes of various characters in the book. Last Child begins after the death of Harry, and mirrors what happened after Henry the VIII’s death. Then a Regency Council represented the interests of young boy king, Edward VI. Here, until Jasper, Harry’s only son, reaches maturity, his company and its holdings are being directed by Jasper’s uncle, Ned Seymour, with the help of various directors including a very ambitious Jim Dudley, and a childhood friend of Harry’s, Will Brandon. Harry had two other children, Isabella (Henry’s Mary) and Erin (Elizabeth), and this book is divided into three parts to tell the story of each of the Lanchester offspring.
Ms. Tyler has cleverly interwoven many characters with similar names and positions to those in the court during the reigns of Edward, Mary and Elizabeth. Hannah is one character who provides a grounding to each part; she is the former nanny/housekeeper, who had a brief affair with Harry, between wives; she has continued as a friend and confidant to the children, despite now having her own successful career running a nanny agency. Isabella lives alone, off the Lanchester estate, still harboring anger and bitterness toward the other children for her father’s divorce of her mother. Erin, a beautiful, fiery, outspoken, and eminently sexy teenager lives with her brother Jasper, or Jaz as he wished to be called, on the estate. Jaz, a young teen, is considered to be a sweet kid by Hannah, but with his penchant for girls, drinking, smoking, swearing, and anything but studying, it’s hard to believe. He is spoiled rotten, unhappy with his guardians, Ned and Angie Seymour, and not enthusiastic at the thought of taking over the company when he reaches 18. We get to hear from him personally through his keeping of a diary on a Dictaphone.
Almost everyone knows the story of Edward VI, Queen Mary, and Queen Elizabeth, but Ms. Tyler has thrown us some curve balls. For example, Jim Dudley meets an attractive, much younger woman named Raine, who has a real talent for marketing. Their relationship provides an emotional touchstone for the book. Isabella finally finds her man …you just have to read the book to see what happens. Erin’s love is Jim Dudley’s son Robert, just as Robert Dudley was the love of Elizabeth I’s life. Erin is the child most like her father, determined to run and expand his company, while seeming to have no use for a husband. And, yes, there’s a twist here, too.
I devoured this book, loving the characters that Ms. Tyler has brought to life, enjoying the twists and turns, the jealousy, greed, love, and lust. This is definitely more than worthy of the history of the Tudor court, and except for a slowing in the pace at the very end, it is a barnburner of a book.