I will admit that there is something of the heaving bosom/throbbing member genre in Katherine, but the history is correct and the author does a good job drawing you into the story and making you cheer for the heroine. It is a little bit of a guilty pleasure book, one that I have indulged in many times.
I think what I like most about the book is that the love of the story is shared closely in my circle of friends and family. The paperback copy I am looking at right now is inscribed inside the cover "December 25, 1972, to Annette from Iris." That's my oldest sister. In 1972, I would have been fifteen years old. Both my sisters, my nieces and my dearest friend, Maureen, have read and loved this story.
In the early 1990's, my two sisters, Maureen and I went to Europe for a tour of Great Britain, Ireland and Scotland. We had the first day free for touring in London and our list of "must sees" was long. High on the list was a visit to St. Paul's to see the tomb of John of Gaunt. Finding the tomb was, in itself, an adventure. He was buried in Old St. Paul's, which was destroyed in the Great Fire of London. Currently there is a memorial plaque/wall in the basement of the new St. Paul's honoring those who were buried in the old cathedral. When we got to the basement, we found the target area roped off and draped for construction repairs. Our disappointment must have been expressed loudly, because a very polite security volunteer arrived and asked if he could assist us. We told him our story; he smiled and escorted us behind the curtain to see and photograph the memorial. My guess is that we were not the first group of women coming to St. Paul's to swoon over John of Gaunt.
I haven't found the photo of the tomb, but this one is of the four of us outside Buckingham Palace on the same day. What a happy day, a happy memory and another great story.