This is the story of Mary, firstborn daughter of King Henry VIII told by Plaidy in the voice of this tragic woman. Born to Katharine of Aragon and Henry VIII, she enjoys her father's affection, his scorn when he declares the marriage invalid and his daughter a bastard, and finally his affection again when she does what she must to please him and save her life. She believes that she has a greater purpose in life - to bring back the Catholic church to England. Her father's frail son, Edward, is king for a short time, leaving the crown to Mary whose tender heart and lack of political finesse make her life difficult indeed. She marries Philip of Spain, love at last she believes only to discover that for him it was an arranged marriage. This is a sad tale well written by an author I had not yet read till this book.