The good old days…weren’tI’ve wondered what the effect might have been if historical (or literary) figures had modern technology. (If Adam and Eve Sent Texts) Would Julius Caesar have gotten a text from Anthony: Hey, J—that seer chick’s Ides of March RT is mega trending. Might want to work from home that day bro.
Of course, the fates are sneaky bitches, so maybe they would have just wriggled things around to make them happen as usual. Romeo was a bit wet anyway, so he’d probably have forgotten to take his phone charger when he skipped out of Verona. He wouldn’t have seen Juliet’s text message: Guna fake my dead so mma d’crypt @midnite on Thu. O n dont come erly nthink I’m x-( . N no go-N2 1 of yr meltdowns n kilyrslf. Lol.
Terry Tyler’s entertaining approach to historical upgrades brought us Kings and Queens, and she’s just released her new sequel, LAST CHILD.
BlurbLAST CHILD is the sequel to Kings and Queens, Terry Tyler’s modern take on the story of Henry VIII and his six wives.Harry Lanchester is gone, his legacy passed on to his children:
Thirteen year old JASPER, who views the directors of Lanchester Estates as Harry Potter characters, and finds out that teenage love affairs are no fairytale.ISABELLA, the eldest daughter; lonely and looking for love, she returns from a holiday in Spain with more than just a suntan.Impulsive, independent ERIN, the girl of Transport manager Rob Dudley’s dreams, whose priority is not a husband and family, but the continuation of her father’s work.You will also meet the ambitious Jim Dudley, ex-nanny Hannah Cleveley, Rob’s long suffering wife Amy, and Raine Grey, whose nine days as PR manager for Lanchester Estates have a devastating effect on her life.LAST CHILD takes the drama, passion and intrigue of Kings and Queens into the present day, with echoes from the past ~ and a glimpse or two into the future…
- Book Title: LAST CHILD
- Author: Terry Tyler
- Genre: Contemporary Drama
Length: 363 pages
Release Date: 20 February, 2015
Purchase Links: Amazon UK| Amazon
My Review: 5 out of 5 stars for LAST CHILD
‘Tour de force: a feat or display of strength, skill, or ingenuity. a very skillful and successful effort or performance’ –Miriam-Webster
Terry Tyler gave serious consideration to the Tudors’ historical makeover in her stunning novel, Kings and Queens (see my review plus interview with Terry here). As I said in that review, what turned an interesting concept into a tour de force was that each woman told her personal story in her own unique voice. It was captivating and absolutely mesmerizing to not only see each character’s internal reasoning, but also to get a voyeur’s view of each woman through the eyes of the others.
The only problem? I wanted to know… no, I needed to know what came next. Sure, I could read the history books. But it wasn’t the same as getting in the heads of these women and seeing how their hopes and dreams and failures played out. And then getting to see that all over again through different eyes.
But great news! Terry Tyler has just released LAST CHILD. Not only can I get my “and then what?” fix, but she continues to find the unique character and voice for the next generation, the three surviving children of Harry Lanchester/ Henry VIII:
- Young Jasper/King Edward VI, Harry’s designated heir, is teetering between childhood and proud acceptance of his future. “When Izzy talks about J. Dud ‘running amok’ I get a picture in my mind of him haring round the boardroom with a tomahawk, I don’t know why. I think it’s the ‘k’ in ‘amok’.”
- Eldest daughter Isabella/Queen Mary I tells us, “People say, oh, Isabella never got over her parents getting divorced, it’s time she let the past go and moved on, but they haven’t got a clue what I went through, or they’d know it couldn’t do anything but colour the rest of my life.“
- Younger daughter Erin/Queen Elizabeth I is a girl whose strength—and tragedy—is to see more clearly than any other character what her role and future must be. “Do you know why I shall never do the husband bit?” she said, pointing her cigarette a bit too close to my face. “It’s because it ends women’s lives. Look at the evidence. My mother, my beautiful, intelligent, much sought after mother— she falls in love with my father, he screws around and rejects her, she ODs on charlie alone in her flat. Jaz’s mum would probably be alive and kicking if she hadn’t married my dad, as would Keira Howard. Izzy— I need say no more. Even if you don’t end up dead or in a nuthouse, getting married totally fucking erodes your confidence and breaks your heart. Ask Kate, or Izzy’s mum. Or your mum. Or your wife, come to think of it. Nah, you’re better off alone, just having lovers. The trouble comes when you start believing in true love.”
In addition, LAST CHILD gives us the fascinating supporting cast of characters who orbit the Lanchester/Tudor family. I particularly liked Raine/Lady Jane Grey, whose drive to rise above her council-flat background only brings her triumph crashing down after her nine-day ‘reign’ (I can’t be the only one who likes that pun!): “Most of all, I wanted people to see me as someone they’d like to emulate, not as part of some pop psychology-loving, lazy, dog-on-a-string, pink dreadlocked, weirdo hippy underclass, to be laughed and pointed at.”
Even more remarkably, while following the sweep of history, Terry Tyler isn’t a slave to the changes that would come from modernizing. So along with the fun of recognizing characters and historical events, there is the surprise and delight of seeing them interpreted in modern terms.
I wouldn’t hesitate to give LAST CHILD five stars out of five. Quite simply, Terry Tyler has done it again. I thought that Kings and Queens would be difficult to top. But what I realized was that she didn’t need to top it. LAST CHILD is, instead, the brilliantly-executed, perfectly plotted, proper end to the story. I should probably tell you that you don’t really have to read Kings and Queens first. But that would mean you miss out on half the fun and a lot of inside jokes. So do yourself a favor—get a good bottle of wine, some quality me-time, and these two amazing reads. You deserve it.
Contact Links for Terry Tyler
*I received this book for free from the publisher or author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.*
A short excerpt from the first chapter of LAST CHILD:
The children’s ex-nanny, Hannah, is talking to Kate, who was the last wife of Harry before he died. She has since married Aiden Seymour. Harry’s two youngest children, Erin and Jasper (‘Jaz’), now live with the newly weds.
I followed her eyes over to the window, and saw immediately why her expression had changed. Angie and Erin had joined the boys outside in the sunshine. Erin had changed out of her amazing Chloé dress into faded denim shorts so small she might as well have walked out into the garden in her knickers, worn with a Motorhead t-shirt and calf-high lace-up boots. She looked like something out of a rock video; Aiden’s eyes were popping out of his head.
I remembered the Christmas before last, when the two of them had been caught mid-snog at the Lanchester Estates office party. That was when Kate was still married to Harry, of course, and Aiden was a free agent, but it caused an uproar nevertheless. Erin was only sixteen, and Aiden thirty-two. Now, as I watched her prance around the garden, swinging her neat little hips and flicking her hair over her shoulder as she shot sexy sidelong looks at Kate’s husband, I saw that the flirtation was far from over.
“Don’t say anything—just don’t,” Kate whispered. Her eyes were filled with tears and I leaned towards her, but she put up a hand to ward me off. “No, please,” she said. “I have to ignore it, or I’ll go out there and behave like a jealous old bat.”
“Come on,” I said, pouring out more wine. “She’s only exercising her power over men. I’m sure that’s all it is, and Aiden adores you; you know how long he waited to marry you.”
She dragged her eyes back to me. “I know, I know. But honestly, Hannah, sometimes I want to just—just—oh, what’s that thing Jaz says? Bitch slap her!” At least that made us both laugh again. “Thing is, she’s not an innocent little girl, not at all. She knows exactly what she’s doing. She comes down to the kitchen to get a Coke out of the fridge in her underwear, even though I’ve told her not to, she makes deliberate double entendres at the dinner table; I tell you, the way she eats asparagus spears ought to be X-rated! I mean, what the hell’s going on here? She’s not my daughter but she happens to live in my house, except it’s her house, really, isn’t it? Hers, Isabella’s and Jasper’s. Harry’s will stipulates that I can live here as long as I want, but it will never belong to me, and why should it? My twelve-year-old stepson is my landlord! Then I think, why can’t I just enjoy being with my husband without the constant presence of this sexy young woman who keeps flirting with him? We can’t leave because of Jaz—it’s just such a weird and very difficult situation.”
She was extremely overwrought; I could see it was more than just a slight annoyance. “Presumably she goes out a fair bit? Has her own life?”
“Oh yes, it was great when she was away in New York, and she’s always zooming off in cars with her various other admirers; if it’s not Rob Dudley it’s a chap called Eddie Courtenay from the office, or Tim Wyatt, who’s the nephew of some old lover of Annette’s. She certainly knows how to play the opposite sex—the apple has not fallen far from the tree, and I’m not talking about her mother.” That amused us both. “So, yes, I do get to spend evenings at home with my husband, just us, alone—until we get called out to deal with another scrape that Jaz has got himself into. Only last week I had a phone call from his friend Guy’s mother, asking me to pick him up from their party—he and Ollie had smuggled in two bottles of that paint stripper type cider that down-and-outs drink, and were so drunk they’d been sick in one of the bedrooms.”