Saturday, August 1, 2009

Review: Hugh and Bess by Susan Higginbotham

Hugh and Bess cover
Elizabeth de Montacute is already widowed at age 14 when her family tells her that she'll be marrying Hugh le Despenser, who is several years older than her. That's not the major drawback, however, Hugh is the son of a traitor and Bess wishes she didn't have to marry into such a family. There's nothing she can do, however, and Hugh is unfailingly kind to her, so they wed.

Hugh and Bess is their story...about the times they lived in, the burdens of their family histories, and the growth of their friendship into love. It's a very easy read and one that you get sucked into....these historical novels based on real people are kind of like mini-soap operas!

I really enjoyed both the characters of Hugh and Bess, but especially Bess as her spunky attitude made me laugh. But I also couldn't help but feel quite sympathetic towards her--how frightening to be so young and forced into marriage. It reminds me of all I have to be thankful of! While it worked out in Bess and Hugh's case, I'm sure it didn't always. And there's something just a bit disturbing to me about the men waiting around for the girls to mature into women! But that's just me.

Overall, this is a very engaging read and if you enjoy historicals during this time period you'll undoubtedly enjoy this one as well.

Rating: 4.25/5
Things You Might Want to Know: Some language.
Source of Book: Review copy from Sourcebooks for blog tour.



bermudaonion said...

I haven't gotten into historical fiction, but I'm not sure why. I've enjoyed the few that I've read.

Holly said...

This one looks good. Great review.

Sandy Nawrot said...

I've heard great things about Higginbotham...she apparently knows her stuff when it comes to historical fiction. I like the sound of this one. If you're forced into marriage, how cool would it be if you actually liked the guy! I, too, can just visualize the dirty old men waiting to pluck up a pretty young thing. Eww.

Elizabeth said...

You make this sound great, Amy! I love HF, especially when it's loosely based on real people.
BTW, I'm 1/2 way through Season 2 of Supernatural, and I still can't decide on who is my 1 true love. Dean has those amazing eyelashes, but Sam is better educated and more evolved....HMMM

Anna said...

I'll be reading this one soon, and I can't wait. I really liked The Traitor's Wife.

Diary of an Eccentric

Nicole said...

Is her last name really Montacute? Very cute. I feel like I have heard their names and story before.

Susan Higginbotham said...

Thanks for the review, Amy! Nicole, I hadn't thought about the "cute" in "Montacute" before, but that was the real name! (It's also spelled "Montagu" or "Montague" in records.)

Beth F said...

I haven't yet read Higginbotham, but I love HF and she is at the top of wish list. I must do some catching up with what I own first.

Jen - Devourer of Books said...

I'm definitely looking forward to this, I'll have to find it somewhere.

Dar said...

Glad you liked it Amy. I did as well. I really liked both Hugh and Bess. Another great read from Susan!

S. Krishna said...

This one sounds interesting. I passed on it to review but I might have to pick it up!

Em said...

It's been awhile since I read a historical novel. My last one was Abundance by Sena Jeter Naslund. I might have to try this one out. :)

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