Book Review: A Marriage of Fortune

Were all Paston women, even if they discovered love, fated to experience loss and heartbreak?

Anne O’Brien ~ A Marriage of Fortune


England, 1469.

As the War of the Roses rages on, Margaret Paston knows that there is only one way to survive the loss of the Paston’s family seat, Caister Castle: a fortunate marriage for one of her unruly daughters. A favourable match will change the future of her family overnight but a scandal will ruin the Paston name forever… 


Although the Tudor period is often said to be people’s favourite, there is a lot to be said about the years before. The Wars of the Roses is a fascinating time in history, with some excellent characters and plenty of scandal and war.

A Marriage of Fortune begins two decades before the Battle of Bosworth. It’s a time of turmoil across England and political marriages were often expected to forge alliances and save old families from ruin. It is a tale of the women, each looking to find a balance between their heads and hearts. Marrying for love could ruin them, but marrying for financial or political gain could make them miserable.

The story is a good one, with plenty of detail that adds to the reading experience. It’s rich, vivid and entertaining. Characters are all strong-willed and determined, but their ambitions are all different. It’s a nice change to read about lesser-known people from history and see how those outside of the inner workings of court lived and worked.

Although the description does add to the story, it feels a little excessive in places. The book is much too long and at times I found my attention wandering. After such a dramatic opening, the book’s ending is quite underwhelming and a let down after committing so much time to reading it.

A really interesting read, but a little slow and wordy.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Thanks to Orion Books for my copy. Opinions my own.

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