Narrated by Jennifer Ikeda
Publisher: Penguin Audiobooks
young adult, historical fiction
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 is 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 told through Katherine (Kitty) Tylney, a close friend and distant cousin of Catherine Howard, in the home of the Duchess of Norfolk. Now I did a quick internet search for Kitty, and she is a real figure, as she appears in the documents of the trial of Catherine Howard, but I wasn't able to find anything I did not know from reading Gilt. Suffice to say, it seems the documentary record for Kitty Tylney is a bit lacking. This, in my opinion makes Kitty an ideal narrator for the story of Catherine Howard. Longshore can play with her story more, while sticking to the facts as they pertain to the major players. Kitty was very believable, The history seems sound from what I remember of the last Six Wives book I read. Longshore's version of Catherine is a bit more conniving than I am used to seeing her, it was more what I would expect in a novel about Anne Boleyn. Thomas Culpepper had that same sleazy, skin crawling manner that his character had in The Tudors series. Neither was depicted in a sympathetic light, which is to be expected. However for a unique view, Catherine was depicted as the main architect of her downfall.
Jennifer Ikeda is a fine narrator for Gilt, she brings in a little bit of an accent. It took me a little be to get used to her voice, but looking at her bio, it makes me wonder if it was because she's Californian. It may be all of my BBCAmerica and british movie watching that has tuned my ear to catch the difference from a real accent. After a little while, whatever issues I had resolved themselves, and I enjoyed listening to her narrate Kitty's world. I would definitely keep my eye out for other books she narrates.