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The Altarpiece (The Cross and Crown) (The Cross and the Crown) Hardcover – March 6, 2013
Intrusion: A Novel
A loving couple, grieving the loss of their son, finds their marriage in free fall when a beautiful, long-lost acquaintance inserts herself into their lives. Learn More
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Top Customer Reviews
Catherine is torn. She's been at the abbey since infancy when Cristina took her in and raised her, but her real passion is the healing arts. When she nurses Robert's brother with the pox back to health, her loyalties and faith are severely tested. The story explores her struggle between her growing feelings for William and her loyalty to the prioress and her vows. The book is well researched and a host of secondary characters immerses the reader in what life was like in 1535 England. I did find the story a little slow in parts, but the character of Catherine is compelling and will keep you turning the pages.
I received the book in exchange for a fair and honest review.
The premise is a good one: what did the Catholic Church in England do when Henry VIII took the knife to the life line with Rome, creating the Church of England at the expense of essentially devastating the remnants of Catholicism in his realm? Kennedy creates the character of Catherine Havens, an abandoned child taken in by the prioress of the abbey in a local town in Yorkshire. With the schism of the broken church and Henry's infamous marriages and divorces and beheadings, life for the young bright mistress of healing changes from the desire for living at court to taking the veil. As the pillaging of the churches continues the altarpiece at Mount Grace goes missing the intrigue begins and Catherine and her friend Ann become the focus of investigation - a factor that leads to a blend of conflicts between love for church and longing for corporal love.
Sarah Kennedy is a poet and her eloquence of prose supports that. But poems are concise self-contained works that do not necessarily translate to prose. The story is fine but it is the pacing and the resistance toward forward momentum that a novel needs that is too frequently missing. For a first venture into novel writing it would seem that a single freestanding story would have served Kennedy's foray better than placing a `Book One of the Cross and the Crimson Series' before her readers. Grady Harp, March 13
If you do decide to pick it up I recommend you do so willing to spend hours reading it; the twists and turns of the novel make it especially engaging. I couldn't put it down once I began.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The mysteries in this book kept me reading, despite often being confused by incessant dialogue between numerous characters. The story plodded slowly in many parts. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Sarah Grams
I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
I love historical fictions, and this book delivers!! Read more
Catherine gets caught in the crossfire of King Henry purging the priories. A novice nun who has to renounce Catholicism, keep herself from being killed for a witch, and save the... Read morePublished 10 months ago by Jewelry buff
I loved this entire series. Sarah Kennedy's descriptive writing just pulls you in to the story and keeps you there. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Carol S
Henry VIII has broken with Rome to establish the Church of England. He wants(demands) that all priests and nuns forsake the Catholic religion and embrace the new church. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Kathleen Kelly
The Altarpiece by Sarah Kennedy is the first in The Cross and The Crown Series and what a fantastic start! Read morePublished on February 26, 2014 by Darlene @ Peeking Between the Pages
With the poet's capacity to make her reader feel the delicious queasiness of being in love; the inescapable disillusionment with family, religion, or country; and the overwhelming... Read morePublished on December 27, 2013 by Olympic Chill
The year is 1535, and King Henry's martial issues and his defiance of the Pope and Catholic Church is having far-reaching consequences for his people. Read morePublished on October 1, 2013 by Sandra Iler Kirkland
The Altarpiece is a powerful depiction of a horrible time in England's history. So many men and women were killed or displaced so Henry VIII could produce an heir. Read morePublished on September 2, 2013 by Kinx's Book Nook