The description of this novel says it's aimed for a yonger, teenage audience; however as an adult reader I found it very entertaining and honestly I couldn't put it down once I started reading it. In short, Eliza Rose is a historical romance/ comedy/ drama set in Tudor England as seen through the eyes of an aristocratic teenage girl. I'm a Lucy Worsely fan and I think she's done a great job creating an entertaining story that at it's heart touches on some serious topics about the role and expectations of 'high born' women during this period.
We meet the fictional Eliza when she is just 12 years old and her family organise her bethrothal in order to secure their family name and relcaim some wealth. As the story continues and Eliza grows up, we follow her to Hampton Court Palace where she becomes a maid in waiting to the new queen, Anne of Cleaves.
The author is a historian and Hampton Court Palace curator, so we know this is novel is going to be a relatively accurate portrait of life 'at court' during the reign of King Henry VIII. Although Eliza is a fictional character, her cousin, Katherine Howard is based on the actual person and Ms Worsley weaves her version of events leading up to Katherine's crowning as Henry's 6th wife and her fate thereafter.
The story is written simply and easy to follow with no lavish descriptions or paragraphs of facts, making it perfect for older middle-grade or YA audiences. Despite the ending being a little abrupt, I quite enjoyed seeing the Court through the eyes of Eliza, following her transition from child to young lady.
Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.