The Queen of Subtleties by Suzannah Dunn

The Queen of Subtleties

Suzannah Dunn

The story of Anne Boleyn is well known but this re-telling is different - first, it is told by two women: Anne and Lucy, the king's confectioner and Queen of the title; second, it is told in modern day language which gives the events a contemporary feel and brings the characters to life.

Extract

When my fears hammer in the small hours, I give up trying to do anything but work. I creep, wick-led, to the kitchen to smooth sugar-crusts and lay acres of goldleaf. Then, sometimes, morning is up and running before I've quite noticed, and I wonder if I have, somehow, slept. Richard is careful to follow my cue and talk about nothing but work. Not difficult: there's so much of it; the kitchen is padded, barricaded, with it. Moulds, jars, pans, braziers, stack of sugar-shapes. And, fittingly, in the middle, emerging, soaring above it all, our centrepiece. This is a royal wedding banquet, no less, in preparation.

Parallels
  • The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory
  • Chocolat by Joanne Harris
  • The Secret Diary of Anne Boleyn by Robin Maxwell