Lady in Waiting

Lady in Waiting - Susan Meissner Antique dealer Jane Lindsay's comfortable domestic world has just been shattered when her husband Brad took another job and moved to a different state, telling her that he needs "space" to decide if their marriage is worth continuing. Floundering and depressed, she finds her interest in life being rekindled when she receives a box of jumble sale goods from a contact in England and finds an old ring with her name engraved on it concealed in the binding of an old prayerbook. Who was the "Jane" who received the ring as a betrothal gift centuries before, and what is her story?

The rest of Lady in Waiting tells the story of Lady Jane Grey, the fifteen-year-old girl who became Queen of England for nine days in the tumultuous dynastic maneuvering of mid-sixteenth century Tudor politics, through the eyes of her seamstress, Lucy Day, alternately with the modern-day Jane's struggles to make sense of her life and find a purpose.

While both threads were well told and interesting, the biggest flaw of this book to me was the extreme tenuousness of the connection between them. I'm not a "time travel" enthusiast, but I would have been happy to see some in this case. The modern Jane never has a clue of what we are being told in the earlier story or even that the ring actually did belong to Lady Jane Grey, and her reasons for thinking so are weak beyond believing for me, at least. I did, however, like the letters at the end which trace the history of the ring, and the book in which is eventually hidden, through the centuries.