Susan Meissner has once again masterfully woven two stories into one with her moving and thought-provoking novel, Lady in Waiting. The novel opens with Jane Lindsay, a woman who runs an antique store in Manhattan. While trying to face marital difficulties with the recent surprise separation from her husband of twenty-two years, Jane opens a locked box that she has received from a jumble sale in Britain. The exquisite and mysterious ring that she discovers hidden within bears her name, and she begins a personal journey to discover the ring's past, while also delving into her own.
Despite feeling a deep connection with the ring and its previous recipient, only the readers discover the complete story of sixteenth-century Lady Jane Grey. Lucy Day becomes Lady Jane's dressmaker and confidant as the innocent young Jane is used as a political pawn. Lucy watches as Lady Jane yearns for true love and leads a life of privelage, but the cost of duty may be too high in an English society ruled by power and greed.
As I was reading Lady in Waiting, I was captivated by the stories of both the present-day and past Jane. Though the circumstances for each character are vastly different, at their core they are inherently the same. The life that each person leads is ultimately based on the daily decisions that they make. This is something that each of us knows to be true, but we sometimes fail to see other options. As I read this novel, I was pulled into each of the character's lives, including Lucy Day's experiences. Susan Meissner skillfully develops characters that come to life because, as a reader, I shared the realm of emotions that each person experiences. The ultimate message of the book is powerful for each of us. As it is stated on the back cover, "Love is a choice you make every day." Sometimes the choices are not easy, but we always make a choice, even if we decide to follow the path of inaction.
I strongly recommend Lady in Waiting, and the discussion questions at the end are perfect for a book study. If you have not had a chance to read Susan Meissner's other works, I especially recommend The Shape of Mercy as well. You will not be disappointed!
I received a complimentary copy of this book from WaterBrook Press through their book review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed above are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”