Despite having already discovered that Terry Tyler is an excellent novelist I had a slight resistance to reading “Kings and Queens.” The idea of a contemporary parallel to the life of Tudor King Henry VIII was superb, but could it be achieved without too much awkwardly contrived plotting? Yes!
All the significant players in the life of Henry VIII feature in Terry’s story but she adapts the circumstances of each marriage to the context of its late 20th century era. Children are born, there are divorces but nobody has their head chopped off!
“Kings and Queens,” can be read from two viewpoints. With no knowledge of Tudor history you can enjoy this family saga as it is revealed, meeting male chauvinism, passion, addiction, power politics etc., just as you might watching a compulsive TV series such as “Howard’s Way” or “Dallas.” If you expect Harry Lanchester to behave like his alter ego Henry VIII you can thoroughly enjoy the twists and nuances in which his story differs from that of the King.
Inevitably you will identify with one or more of Harry’s partners and you will have encountered someone like his other wives. Each of the six women is a narrator and their biased viewpoint is counterpointed by the testimony of Will, Harry’s best friend and employee. There is tragedy, a dysfunctional family, love and dishonesty. A recipe for a rollicking good read.
If, like me, you are “of a certain age,” you will particularly enjoy the period details of fashion and social mores especially during the 1980s and the accurate reflection of the ups and downs of the housing market add credibility to events that are described.
I can thoroughly recommend this fascinating book and I am anxious to know more about the continuation of Harry’s dynasty.