All Manner of Things by Wendy J. Dunn
Book Review - Blog Tour

Publication Date: January 15th 2021
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher: Poesy Quill Publishing
Series: Falling Pomegranate Seeds, Book #2
Print Length: 449 Pages


Winter, 1539

MarĂ­a de Salinas is dying.

Too ill to travel, she writes a letter to her daughter Katherine, the young duchess of Suffolk. A letter telling of her life: a life intertwined with her friend and cousin Catalina of Aragon, the youngest child of Isabel of Castile. It is a letter to help her daughter understand the choices she has made in her life, beginning from the time she keeps her vow to Catalina to share her life of exile in England.

Friendship, betrayal, hatred, forgiveness – All Manner of Things tells a story of how love wins out in the end. 

My Thoughts

There was a time when I readily devoured any novel about the Tudors. Unfortunately this led to "Tudor burn out". Now, I only pick up novels that offer a different perspective of those times through the eyes of lesser known historical figures, which is what drew me to Wendy J. Dunn's latest novel. In All Manner of Things the lesser known figure is Maria de Salinas, cousin and lady in waiting to Catalina of Aragon.

Maria has been Catalina's companion since the age of five when the two first met and became inseparable playmates. Originally a bed companion, Maria was treated more as a beloved sister sharing the benefits of Catalina's position and, as the girls grew older, becoming her most trusted confidante. She never thought that a chilhood pact would lead to exile from Spain when the sixteen year old Catalina travels to England to marry Prince Arthur, the heir to the English throne. Although Maria has some qualms at leaving behind her mother and her native country, duty to Catalina comes first, even if it means sacrificing her own dreams and happiness.

Through a letter the dying Maria is writing to her daughter, Katherine, she relates the course of Catalina's life in England so entwined with her own, which she hopes will help her daughter understand the difficult decisions that Maria was forced to make and especially why she agreed to Katherine's marriage to her guardian, the much older Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk.

The details of Catalina's life as the first wife of Henry VIII is well known; her relationship with Maria de Salinas not so much. Wendy J. Dunn has filled in the gaps and penned a beautiful and memorable novel around this relationship, taking the reader on a roller coaster ride of emotions as these two young girls grow into adulthood and navigate the minefield which is the Tudor court. Duty, courage, love and friendship are at the core of this remarkable story. I loved every word and believe it is a must read for both historical fiction fans and Tudor devotees.

Praise for All Manner of Things

“A timeless story of friendship and love, which will stay with the reader long after the last page is turned, All Manner of Things is Wendy J. Dunn's best novel yet…” Lauren Chater, author of The Lace Weavers and Gulliver’s Wife.

“To read this book is like tasting a succulent pomegranate that swells and ripens and reveals the luscious fruit…” Glenice Whitting, author Pickle to a Pie and What Time is it There?

“A sensitive and inspiring portrait of faith and friendship, framed around the devotion inspired by a remarkable queen. Wendy J. Dunn has written another gem of a novel for Tudor enthusiasts!” Gareth Russell, author of Young and Damned and Fair: The Life of Catherine Howard, Fifth Wife of King Henry VIII (US title) (2017), The Darksome Bounds of a Failing World: The Sinking of the Titanic and the End of the Edwardian Era (2019).

“This is a story ripe with passion and rich in historical detail. All Manner of Things draws the reader deep into the heart of Henry's Tudor court, with its machinations, betrayals and very human stories of love and loss…” Rachel Nightingale, author of The Tales of Tarya.

“A finely wrought tale that resurrects the indomitable spirit of Katherine of Aragon, breathing new life into her oft-told story... Yet another spellbinding novel from Wendy J Dunn!” Adrienne Dillard, author of Cor Rotto and The Raven’s Widow.

"I'm so fussy about historical fiction, but Wendy J Dunn never fails to please. Dunn breathes life into Catalina and Maria in this celebration of true friendship. Their story seemed to reach through the ages to truly touch me. Beautiful, just beautiful" Claire Ridgway, author of The Fall of Anne Boleyn: A Countdown.

“…this book made me fascinate over times long ago, times when ancient buildings were brand new, faded portraits were still sharp and striking and faith and loyalty were absolute; times when women had so little autonomy it was never an option for them to venture out on their own and just ditch this damn place.” Angela Wauchop, Backstory Literary Journal.

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Where to Purchase

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Meet the Author

Wendy J. Dunn is an Australian author, playwright and poet who has been obsessed by Anne Boleyn and Tudor History since she was ten-years-old. She is the author of three Tudor novels: Dear Heart, How Like You This?, the winner of the 2003 Glyph Fiction Award and 2004 runner up in the Eric Hoffer Award for Commercial Fiction, The Light in the Labyrinth, her first young adult novel, and Falling Pomegranate Seeds: The Duty of Daughters.

While she continues to have a very close and spooky relationship with Sir Thomas Wyatt, the elder, serendipity of life now leaves her no longer wondering if she has been channeling Anne Boleyn and Sir Tom for years in her writing, but considering the possibility of ancestral memory. Her own family tree reveals the intriguing fact that her ancestors – possibly over three generations – had purchased land from both the Boleyn and Wyatt families to build up their own holdings. It seems very likely Wendy’s ancestors knew the Wyatts and Boleyns personally.

Connect with Wendy: WebsiteFacebookInstagramTwitterGoodreads

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