As part of my personal initiative to read authors that I haven’t read before, I read The Pleasure Palace by Kate Emerson using Scribd. Scribd is an excellent way to try new authors, you feel no guilty in putting aside a book that is part of a monthly subscription so perfect place for me to experiment with new genres and new authors!
I am a huge fan of historical fiction so this should have been more than a middle of the road, three star rating from me but that’s precisely what the book is, middle of the road.
The writing isn’t horrible, the plot isn’t memorable, characters are forgettable, and the premise is implausible at best. This book is the first of the series, Secrets of the Tudor Court, but I won’t be reading further installments. Nothing about the writing style or the characters drew me in and made me want to venture into another middle of the road book.
Historical fiction is tough to write but it can be done and done beautifully, Margaret George of Philippa Gregory are two immediate examples of authors who make the past come alive. Part of writing historical fiction is being able to keep current day politics and sensibilities out of the time frame you are writing. All too often writers fall into the trap and making women characters stronger than possible for the time frame in which they set their story. Kate Emerson’s dive into the court of Henry VIII suffers from just that problem.
Three stars out of five, it’s readable but it isn’t memorable.