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Graeme-Evans, Posie. The innocent, a novel.

GRAEME-EVANS, Posie. The innocent, a novel. Atria Books. 406p. c2002. 0-7434-4372-1. $14.00. SA

This historical novel set in 15th-century England tells the tale of young Anne, a 14-year-old who is caught between many worlds: child and woman, city and forest, servant and royalty. She is wise beyond her years, and brings something rare and valuable for her employer when she arrives in London--her knowledge of herbal medicine, taught to her by her foster mother who cared for her after her mother died. While serving in the home of a wealthy merchant, Anne's healing abilities attract the attention of the royal family.

At the heart of the novel is Anne's tempestuous and forbidden relationship with King Edward IV. She is inexplicably and undeniably drawn to him, and the attraction is mutual. However, the situation with Anne is different from Edward's dalliances with other servant girls, as he truly cares for this intelligent young woman who helps to save his wife and daughter during a difficult birth. When Anne's real lineage is uncovered, revealing the truth could bring not only the end of her relationship with the king, but his position as ruler of England. With a maturity and grace beyond her years, Anne unquestioningly and without hesitation makes the decision she believes is best for her country.

Graeme-Evans engages the reader early on. She blends intrigue, passion and humor, creating a fast tempo that spurs the reader on to find out what happens next. While this is in some ways a coming-of-age story, the novel contains strong sexual content that may be unsuitable for younger readers or for use as part of a classroom curriculum. Kristen LeBlanc Ivory, Baltimore, MD
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Author:LeBlanc, Kristen
Publication:Kliatt
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Jul 1, 2004
Words:280
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