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October 27, 2021

I've Been Reading: Book Review

 The Favored Queen 

by
Carolly Erickson

Historical fiction/Tudor era

295 pages/hardcover

 

Quote: "Why must you go out of your way to stir up conflict?" ~ King Henry VIII 

From the cover: Born into an ambitious noble family, young Jane Seymour is sent to court as a maid of honor to Catherine of Aragon, Henry VIII's aging queen. She is devoted to her mistress and watches with empathy as the calculating Anne Boleyn contrives to supplant Catherine as queen.

My Review:




I honestly have been putting off and debating whether to do this review. I truly wanted to love this book, but it didn't pull me in as I thought it would. In actuality, I felt myself starting and stopping over and over. Either I just couldn't get into the story, or I found myself pausing to do some "fact" checking.

I am aware this is labeled historical fiction, but I also know that Carolly Erickson is considered a distinguished historian. I have read other books by her, and do not remember struggling throughout any of them.

Furthermore, I feel, even as a fiction book, Ms. Erickson has taken too many liberties in changing or adding to Jane Seymour's life and story.

To me, this wasn't a  fill in the blanks, where there is no actual record. It was more of, let's just create a whole affair that has no proof or make doubtful assumptions in history.

Historical researchers, Jane Seymour is known to have been kind-hearted, docile, subservient, silent, virtuous, and having good sense.
Erickson has made her to be more of a naive, flighty woman who is easily persuaded from one love to another.
In chapter 12, page 123 she is talking with Will Dormer(there was an engagement between them IRL) of their marriage plans and is having her gown made. Less than ten pages later, she has met Galyon Hone(actual Tudor glacier, but NO record Jane ever met him) and agrees to meet him in secret. Two pages later, quoted "So easily, did I leave girlhood behind that night and not with dear Will, but with a stranger."~ Jane
Sorry, Will, you're out.
The book goes on to her marrying King Henry VIII less than 120 pages later.

Also, I felt this book, while being read as Jane's voice, actually was more about Henry's first 2 wives, their lives, relationships, and all that was going on at court around Jane. She only becomes the main character after Anne's beheading, more than halfway through the book. 
I did give it 3 stars.
1. Carolly Erickson is a wonderful author. I've read a few of her other books
2. Anything Tudor is a win for me
3. It was an entertaining book. If my knowledge of Tudor history was less, I may have enjoyed it more as a historical fiction.

If you'd like to give this one a try, you can find it here

I hope you've enjoyed this book review. I am always reading something, so check back for more reviews.




October 20, 2021

How to Build Confidence in Our Children

National Youth Confidence Day

is

October 20th 

Confidence by definition is,
  • The feeling or belief that one can rely on someone or something; strong trust
  • The state of feeling certain about the truth of something
  • A feeling of self-assurance arising from one's appreciation of one's own abilities or qualities.
  • Similar to: trust, faith self-assurance, belief, credence, conviction, reliance


I feel such a need to write this post. I am a mother of three girls, and I have seen how quickly their confidence can whither. It may be for a few hours, days, or weeks. I know how it feels to have one event or test crush every ounce of confidence you had.
I am a firm believer in building each other up! Spread kindness and acknowledge someone's strengths and accomplishments, no matter how small.
Having confidence isn't about boasting or being arrogant, and I think somewhere along the way, it has been given that vibe. We've lost the true definition and replaced confidence with words like diva, cocky, and sassy. We've allowed bad behavior and disrespect to be diluted and made to look "cute" or given an excuse for it.
"Boys will be boys."
"She gets it from me."
"She/he won't take any crap."
I'm just using these as examples.
I want to use this post as an example, or guide, to get back to building the confidence in our youth in a positive way.
 Now, I'm not saying every kid, parent, or adult is going around encouraging or flaunting bad behavior.
I just think we can all use a boost in the right direction. A positive reinforcement to pass on to the younger humans. 
Be an example.
"Children will follow your actions before they repeat your words."
Here I have listed a few books that help parents encourage and teach self-confidence.





There is so much sadness, hurt, uncertainty, and meanness in the world right now. It is heartbreaking.
 I know I want to build my children up as much as possible. Many people need that reassurance every day.
 I like being reassured and acknowledging my own accomplishments.
I like knowing I have support and a cheering team.
Who doesn't need a confidence booster every once in a while?

Can you imagine how humanity could change if we gave out just one compliment or encouraged someone every day?
It takes less energy to be kind than it does to be mean.
For me, I feel better about myself(more confident) when I am showing kindness or complimenting others.

Sometimes, as parents, we forget to build up our children. Sometimes, we unintentionally break down their confidence.
I know I am guilty. We get busy, tired, or distracted. We get aggravated and frustrated. There are times, we don't even think twice about something that is important to them.
Little things to us, may be huge to them.
Let's build up their confidence. Even in little ways.
Here are some great ways to enforce this.

I really want to continue this post and lean more into positive affirmations. Not only for youth, but for anyone.
It isn't just the younger ones that need these.
Let's build each other up and spread healthy confidence in each other!

Happy Youth Confidence Day!
Go give someone a compliment!