The Constant Princess by Philippa Gregory
It's been a couple weeks since I read this book, but I have been putting off the review. For no good reason. Anyway, I bought this book because I love PG's books! I've read several, and I was also interested in reading more about Katherine of Aragon. I know that PG often gets criticized for embellishing details or throwing in fictional bits, but isn't that the point of historical fiction?? It's what I love about her writing!
Quick summary: This book follows Katherine of Aragon from a young child of 3 years, growing up knowing that she is already betrothed to the Prince of Wales. Split between first person and third person, most of the book is from her point of view. She is careful to always watch what she says and constantly present herself as a princess, and later as a Queen. No matter what her English family throws at her, and despite the betrayals and manipulations of her own Spanish family, she must play along with their plans and still try to stay true to her own dreams.
My age recommendation: 16+
Honestly, it took me a few chapters to get into the book. When Katherine finally moved to England and developed a relationship with her new husband, I got hooked. I was devastated when Arthur died, even though I knew it was coming. The period when Katherine was a penniless princess-in-waiting was hard to get through, but I was rewarded for my persistence, as was Katherine, when she married Harry and started a new life.