Stars of Fortune

Cynthia Harnett
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Set in England, mid 1500s, Catholic perpsective. As explained in the postscript, this book is the author's recreation of a legend surrounding the home belonging to the Washington family (who claims our first president as a descendent). According to the legend, Elizabeth I was once hidden in the house while fleeing pursuers. The story takes place during the tumultous reign of Mary I (eldest offspring of Henry VIII) at which time the "old religion" has been reinstated. (This is a rather subtle backdrop - one of the children notices that their housekeeper - who was a nun in hiding - cried for joy all through the Mass; their father is rebuilding parts of the house to which he secretly adds a small hiding place - presumably for priests in hiding.) Some of the older boys have "romantic" notions of trying to rescue the princess and all sorts of adventures ensue. An enjoyable story in itself, it provides much substance for discussion as well.

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