Marchant, Clare. The Secrets of Saffron Hall. London: Avon Books UK, 2020.
ISBN-13: 978-0008406288 | $15.93 USD | 400 pages | Historical Fiction
Two women. Five centuries apart.
One life-changing secret about to be unearthed…
New bride Eleanor impresses her husband by growing saffron, a spice more valuable than gold. His reputation in Henry VIII’s court soars – but fame and fortune come at a price, for the king’s favour will not last forever…
When Amber discovers an ancient book in her grandfather’s home at Saffron Hall, the contents reveal a dark secret from the past. As she investigates, so unravels a forgotten tragic story and a truth that lies much closer to home than she could have imagined…
An enchanting historical novel about love and hope in dangerous times, perfect for fans of Lucinda Riley and Kathryn Hughes.
I received an ARC from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
I was drawn to the premise of The Secrets of Saffron Hall, due to my love of all things Tudor. And in that regard, my expectations were satisfied. The Tudor portion of the book is engaging and feels true to the period, with its great rewards for those in favor, but the lingering fear of the fates of those who fall out of it.
I was engrossed in Eleanor’s day-to-day life as she runs the home and grows saffron while her husband is away, and while the Saffron element did sometimes feel a bit repetitive, I more or less enjoyed her perspective of the tense times, especially given the events going on in the background: the religious persecutions, executions, and Henry’s shifting interest between wives (mourning Jane Seymour, the reluctant marriage to Anne of Cleves and annulment, and his ill-fated marriage to Catherine Howard).
I found Amber’s chapters less interesting, aside from the supplemental information about the book. There were some good elements there for her, like dealing with grief following a stillbirth, but I still found it harder to become invested in her storyline as much as I did Eleanor’s.
This is still a fairly good book, and one I would recommend to fans of dual timeline historical novels.