(Cover picture courtesy of iNetGiant.)
Catherine of Aragon grew up expecting she would one day become the queen of England—not a dejected teenage widow. But that is exactly what happens when fragile Prince Arthur, to whom she has been betrothed since the age of three, dies only months after their wedding. Her power now obsolete, Catherine is exiled to a dank castle in a remote part of the country. She is stranded there for years with little money and no control over her fate.
There is one ray of light in Catherine’s lonely life—her friendship with handsome Prince Henry, her deceased husband’s younger brother. A marriage to Henry could elevate Catherine from her precarious position and give her the crown that she was once promised. But will Henry take the risk of making the destitute princess his queen? Only time will tell…
Catherine of Aragon is an oft-overlooked woman, having been outshone by her successor, Anne Boleyn. But after reading this novel, I found that there is a much to admire about her. I actually learned a lot from Patience, Princess Catherine because I knew Catherine had waited to marry Henry, but I never knew just how long she waited. She spent seven years in England upon Arthur’s death and her determination paid off: Catherine of Aragon became Queen of England. Believe me, she had far more patience than I would have had her place.
Carolyn Meyer’s portrayal of Catherine is very sympathetic; she is a fiery, determined young woman who believes she is destined to be Queen of England and will stop at nothing to achieve her destiny. Readers will cheer for her every step of the way through her long, hard journey to England her years of waiting to marry Henry. Unlike with Anne Boleyn in Doomed Queen Anne, her downfall is not featured nearly as prominently, but there is still a hint of sadness in the narrative as Catherine reflects on the events of her youth.
With an interesting, well-paced plot, even readers who hate history will love Patience, Princess Catherine. I would recommend it for 12+ because of brief scenes of sexuality, but it really depends on the reader’s maturity level.
I give this book 4/5 stars.