Ladies in Waiting

Written by Laura L. Sullivan
Review by Arleigh Johnson

Three young women from different walks of life find themselves in the high position of serving the wife of the Merry Monarch, King Charles II. Eliza, daughter of a rich merchant, dreams of becoming a playwright while her father schemes to marry her to a titled gentleman. Zabby is a budding scientist, sent by her father from the family plantation in Barbados to further her education. Beth, the product of a ruined nobleman, tries to escape her maniacal mother’s clutches in search of true love. Bound together by their awkwardness and the vicious reaction of the women of the court, they become the Queen’s most trusted ladies. Though they eventually drift apart, they pull together when the Queen’s life is threatened.

Unfortunately, the ending is abrupt with scanty information concerning the fate of the trio. This, along with mature subject matter, may displease readers. Though the three teenage protagonists are innocent when compared to court standards, there is much innuendo that is questionable for such young ladies to possess without the accompanying corruption. However, the style of the writing and layout of the book is geared toward a younger audience. Also, since there is no Author’s Note, the curious reader must resort to a bit of research to find which characters truly existed and which events actually occurred. While this is a panoramic view featuring several different stations of life during the Restoration, the implausibility regarding characterization and events takes the credibility away from this story.