First, I want to say just how grateful I am that Ms. Woodiwiss wrote this book at all. I know she was very ill the entire time, and I want to say thank you for the effort. Whether it was a genuine gift to her fans, or just a way to distract herself, doesn’t matter. My condolences also go out to her family.
I remember the first Woodiwiss novel I read: A Rose in Winter. I’ll admit to being exasperated that the characters in the book took so long to figure it out, but, still, the writing was beautiful.
In The Flame and the Flower, I thought that Heather should have ditched Brandon, who I didn’t like through most of the novel, for Jeff, who was my favorite character. I was disappointed when Jeff’s story was finally told, and didn’t really like A Season Beyond a Kiss.
Everlasting takes place at the end of the reign of Henry I and the first part of the Stephen/Matilda War (around the year 1135), mostly in England. It started off splendidly. The first scenes were filled with emotion, foreboding, and tension (sexual and otherwise).
Things really start to unravel after the death of Desmond de Marlé. I got the impressions, that the fact that Raven was a Scot was supposed to play a much bigger role in the story than it did, maybe something having to do with the Battle of the Standard. Anyway, this second part of the book seemed unfinished to me.
The first word that comes to mind when I think of Everlasting is “flimsy.” Definitely not Ms. Woodiwiss’s best effort, but, given the circumstances, better than we could have hoped. There was a lot of potential, I can see it, and there is just a hint, a promise, of what it could have been.
If you have never read a Kathleen E. Woodiwiss novel, you should read The Wolf and the Dove. This is what Ms. Woodiwiss can do with the Middle Ages, if she had had the time.
My favorite: Petals on the River.
Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars