“History is written by the victors”
Winston Churchill said it and—as both historian AND victor—he should know. As a proud graduate of the American educational system, I of course know absolutely no history, so it really doesn’t matter to me who got what right. Take Richard III for example. Shakespeare’s Vice-incarnate? A 500 year old skull recently unearthed beneath a carpark? Or…?Terry Tyler takes on this challenge in her newest release, The House of York. Please see my review below, and join us here for Terry’s guest post.
The House of York ~ a contemporary family drama, spanning the years 1993 – 2014.Widowed single mum, Lisa Grey, and wealthy businessman, Elias York, are young and madly in love. A recipe for happiness? But Lisa is marrying into a complicated family. Her new sister-in-law doesn’t want to know her. Middle brother Gabriel’s marriage suffers under a cloud of infidelity and gambling debts, while the youngest, Richard, keeps his dark secrets well hidden—and his wife suffers in silence. Lisa and her mother are bonded by their powerful intuition, but dare not voice their fears about York Towers—or certain members of the family…. Love and loss, abduction, incestuous desires and murderous intent form the basis of this compelling saga in which horrors float just beneath the surface, to bring forth a shocking outcome. History lovers may be interested to know that The House of York is loosely based on events during the era of the Wars of the Roses.
- Book Title: The House of York
- Author: Terry Tyler
- Genre: Contemporary Drama
Length: 443 pages
Release Date: October 19, 2015
Purchase Links: Amazon UK| Amazon US
Contact Links for Terry Tyler
My Review: 5 out of 5 stars for House of York by Terry Tyler
Paradigm: a theory or a group of ideas about how something should be done, made, or thought about –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) and its sequel, Last Child (reviewed here). As I said in that review, what turned an interesting concept into a tour de force was that each of “Henry’s” wives 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.
In her latest release, Terry turns her merciless lens on The Wars of the Roses. The result is the paradigm-buster, The House of York.
[We interrupt this book review for a public service announcement. If (like me) you’ve read Terry’s other entertaining books and think for one moment that this will just be another fun read, well—think again. In fact, get caught up on your email, your laundry, and your life. Stock up on red wine, log out of Twitter, and turn off your phone. Because once you start reading The House of York, you will not want to stop. It might also be a good idea to take care of all possible personal hygiene in advance. I’m just sayin’… We now return you to your regularly-scheduled book review.]
It might sound strange when talking about a book that gets its plot bunnies from one of the most famous conflicts in history, but there are so many clever twists in The House of York that I don’t want to risk spoilers. Particularly
amazing gobsmaking WTF unexpected is the ending. Even for those like me who know just enough history—translation: yes, I’ve seen the BBC mini-series—to be dangerous, that ending is one I never saw coming. That’s in spite of the fact that at least the second half of the book, in retrospect, is a carefully escalated collection of hints and clues.
But just as fun are the clues that relate so perfectly to the historical bits we all know. Widowed single mom Lisa Rivers (Elizabeth Woodville) follows the lead of her historical predecessor when she meets Elias York (King Edward IV) in the road and marries him after a whirlwind courtship. The white and red roses that symbolized the opposing sides in the original wars find subtle echoes, from Lisa’s first impression of her mother-in-law, Cecily York (Cecily Neville, Duchess of York) “daintily clipping roses”, to the tragic events near the Red Rose pub. Occasionally traitorous brother Gabriel (George Plantagenet, famously executed by his brother the king by being drowned in a butt of Malmsey wine) is an alcoholic who lives “just outside the tiny village of Malmsey”.
And it’s almost scary how well all that works today. The jealousy, greed, political ambition, pride, lies, sense of entitlement, love, and war of the original Yorkists translates virtually seamlessly into this saga of a family economic dynasty. The stakes might not be the fate of a nation, but they are enough to frame the actions of all involved with the York family business empire. But intertwined with the history we all “know” is a subtle, slowly-building thread that ties all the rest together at the revelation of the stunning conclusion.
Simply: if you like your history personal, your family drama sweeping, or your character-driven stories darkly complex, you owe it to yourself to read The House of York.
Just… make sure you have plenty of chocolate on hand, and don’t schedule anything else that day. Because everything else will have to wait until after you make it to that paradigm-busting finale.
Five stars and a round of applause for Terry Tyler’s The House of York.
***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.***