Toronto teen travels to Tudor times
WHAT if you happen to have the same name as a former Queen of England, who was executed for treason? Could there be a connection between the two of you, even if there are centuries in between?
That’s the premise for Toronto author Sue MacLeod’s novel Namesake (Pajama Press, 232 pages, $15 paperback). Jane Grey is a modern teenager living in Halifax when she is assigned a project on the Tudor monarchs by her history teacher. She decides to focus on her namesake, Lady Jane Grey, who was beheaded on the order of Henry VIII in 1554.
But when she discovers an old prayer book that has the power to transport her into Tudor time, she learns far more about her namesake than she could have imagined.
MacLeod is a former resident of Halifax and was that city’s first poet laureate. Her love of words is shown in the unusual chapter headings such as “Mew: verb: coop up, confine, shut up.” She makes us realize the similarity between the two Janes, both 15, both unhappy and both feeling overwhelmed by forces beyond their control.