Hugh and Bess by Susan Higginbotham Published August 1st 2009 by Sourcebooks Landmark (first published October 29th 2007) Paperback, 320 pages
Forced to marry Hugh le Despenser, the son and grandson of disgraced traitors, Bess de Montacute, just 13 years old, is appalled at his less-than-desirable past. Meanwhile, Hugh must give up the woman he really loves in order to marry the reluctant Bess. Far apart in age and haunted by the past, can Hugh and Bess somehow make their marriage work?
Just as walls break down and love begins to grow, the merciless plague endangers all whom the couple holds dear, threatening the life and love they have built.
Award-winning author Susan Higginbotham’s impeccable research will delight avid historical fiction readers, and her enchanting characters will surely capture every reader’s heart. Fans of her first novel, The Traitor’s Wife, will be thrilled to find that this story follows the next generation of the Despenser family.
Set in the 1300s, Hugh and Bess by Susan Higginbotham is a great historical novel about 2 people brought together by fate and there lives under the rule of Edward III.
Elizabeth de Montecute (Bess) is not happy when she learns that she is to be married to Hugh Le Despenser whose father, Hugh Le Despenser the second, was the lover to King Edward II and who was executed in a very gruesome manner along with his grandfather. Young Hugh after the death of his father had to spend sometime in prison under King Edward III, but was released later on and served the King loyally since then. Hugh is always trying to prove himself and that he is nothing like his father and when the King suggests he marries Bess, daughter and heiress of the King’s closest confidants, Hugh is not pleased but would never let this opportunity pass either.
I loved every art of this story. I think I loved Hugh, inspite of him loving and leaving Emma. But I think what I loved most was “watching” Bess grow from slightly spoilt girl of 13 to a women who was loving, caring and well aware of her duties as a wife of one of the greatest Knights who has led England to many victoreis.
I loved Susan’s style of writing, it is smooth, it flows like the calm river and there are no ripples that I can really talk of. There was not even one phase where I was bored. I was reading this book every waking/feeding/ semi-waking hour I could find with Aarya :). I definitely want to read more of her books. And my sister is escited to get to read this book as well.
If you have not got around reading this one yet, you most definitely are missing out on a great historical fiction novel. Susan Higginbotham definitely has found an ardent fan in me.
Thanks to Dar, for sending this one to me. I won it at a contest at her lovely blog.