Gilt by Katherine Longshore
Publisher: Viking Juvenile
Publication Date: May 15th 2012
Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance
When Kitty Tylney’s best friend, Catherine Howard, worms her way into King Henry VIII’s heart and brings Kitty to court, she’s thrust into a world filled with fabulous gowns, sparkling jewels, and elegant parties. No longer stuck in Cat’s shadow, Kitty’s now caught between two men—the object of her affection and the object of her desire. But court is also full of secrets, lies, and sordid affairs, and as Kitty witnesses Cat’s meteoric rise and fall as queen, she must figure out how to keep being a good friend when the price of telling the truth could literally be her head.
Gilt is one of the most interesting realistic historical fiction books I have read in a long time. Gilt tells a story from the time of the reign of Henry VIII when the best friend (Cat) of the main charter (Kitty) is able to worm her way into the king's heart and become the new queen, and Kitty is pulled into the life of the court as she becomes the favorite of the queen and she tries to live the life and lies of the court.
This is the first time in a long time that I have read a historical fiction book about a time and characters that really existed. At the very end of the book I found it really interesting to read the authors nowt where she broke down each of the characters and told us which ones she created or manipulated in the story, the ones she changed the name or age of and the bits of the story she had to add or subtract to fit her way of telling the story. It surprised me an awful lot when I found out how much of the story she did not change what so ever.
Gilt has a very friendship based setting between the main character, Kitty and her best friend, Cat as Cat rises higher in British society. Though Cat is a horrible, horrible friend to Kitty, there were very, very brief moments when it seemed like Cat really did rely on Kitty more than should would have liked to admit. In the world of the court there was a lot of lies and internal conflict that Kitty had to cover up for Cat and it's very emotional/internal conflict. Though I absolutly hated Cat and her terrible attitude (from what I know about the time I think Catherine Howard might have really been like that) I really loved how this book revolved around their friendship and Kitty's loyalty toward Cat, not to mention I really like their nicknames for one another!
There were bits of romance here and there in the book, but they were very low key and unimportant in the book as a whole, though I really did love how cute the romance was when it popped up.
Overall this book was really interesting and even a bit educational, though it was a little slow at times.