The Girl in the Mirror

The Girl in the Mirror
Sarah Gristwood
Reviewed by Sheila O'Reilly
HarperPress
Thu, 09/06/2011
9780007379040
£12.99

This atmospheric novel tells the story of Jeanne, a young French exile orphaned by the Wars of Religion on the continent and brought to London disguised as a boy. Sarah Gristwood is a wonderful storyteller and the book describes the politics and intrigue of the court of Queen Elizabeth I brilliantly. She gives you a real feel for life in 16th-century London, together with vivid descriptions of the Cecil household upping sticks to the country in preparation for a visit by the Queen.

Each chapter is narrated by a different character and, as we follow Jeanne growing up in disguise in the household of Robert Cecil, we are drawn to her. A thoroughly enjoyable and compelling historical novel.

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