Brendan’s Alternate Tagline: (Looks toward England. Raises middle finger.)
Quick synopsis: Another story about how England is the devil. This time, it focuses on the Catholic Vaux family in Elizabethan England.
Fun Fact Non-History People Will Like: There were places built into homes to hide clergy during the time of Catholic persecution. They were called a “priest hole.” Yeah, I know.
Fun Fact for History Nerds: To this day, you still cannot be Catholic and King of England. We don’t want it anyway.
My Take: The set-up for this book is rife with opportunity for a thriller. Families hiding their faith and secreting away priests while being hunted.
This book does tackle that but in a more scholastic way. It focuses on the Vaux family during the time where it was illegal to be Catholic in England. Yes, that was a long time. Yes, I am still salty about it. Being of Irish heritage as well does not help. Some may say, “But Brendan, the Catholic Church killed a lot of people back then,” and I would say, “Well, I’m not reviewing a book about that right now so shut up, jerk.”
I digress. Jessie Childs book is well researched and eminently readable. However, it is a failure of mine that I expected something more up-tempo. There are many close calls which are documented but they do not make up the bulk of the narrative. This is a great book if your expectations are set properly.
The title is badass, though.
Verdict: This is a well-done book, but it is written for history nerds and not thriller fans.
If You Liked This Try:
- Antonia Fraser, The King and the Catholics