Posted on October 1st, 2013 by pajamapress
“Strange things happen when Jane Grey, a high school student in Halifax, begins an assignment researching Lady Jane Grey, the “nine days queen.” Upon examining her cache of library books, she finds one she hadn’t checked out: Booke of Prayre. As Jane opens it, she is mysteriously transported to the 16th century and meets her namesake. MacLeod dexterously handles the intricacies of the time travel central to the story, and a fascinating, powerful bond develops between the two Jane Greys. It is during their encounters that this first novel is most riveting and successful. Both characters are wonderfully fleshed out. Their mutual confusion heightens the mystery about the impact they might have on each other. Both Janes have their problems with family. Historical Jane struggles to continue following her Protestantism while her Catholic cousin Mary assumes the throne of England. Modern Jane has difficulty coping with what she perceives as the three sides of her mother’s personality. The author’s skill is most pronounced when the two Janes are getting to know each other and to understand the milieu in which each lives….MacLeod’s evocative prose makes friendship across time seem possible. Though Lady Jane’s tragic life is known, readers hope for a happier outcome. This enjoyable read offers a window into an intriguing aspect of British history. It is likely to appeal to fans of Susan Cooper’s King of Shadows (S & S, 1999) and books by Margaret Peterson Haddix.”
—Renee Steinberg, formerly at Fieldstone Middle School, Montvale, NJ
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