Another story set during the perilous times of the Tudor court, the reign of Henry VIII. In truth, there are so many stories that can be told about the people who were affected by his actions. The people in The Sumerton Women are no exception. Ms. Bogdan has taken these lives and brought them vividly to life, amid an accurate historical setting.The characters are real and it became easy to become emotionally invested, especially with Cecily. Her story begins as an orphaned child, but she soon grows into a strong young lady who must face decisions that she never dreamed of facing. And she does so with grace and love. In fact, that is the key to the character of Cecily. She is the embodiment of love. In the discussion questions at the back of the book, this question is asked, "Who in this novel would you describe as being closest to God?" Unequivocally, it is Cecily. Her kindness and strength, her selfless love for all, are the virtues I believe God treasures in a person.Mirabella, the daughter who learns a heartbreaking truth and who is the one who it seemed had an early calling to God, is in fact the farthest from him. I say this because of her pride and judgement of others. While it is admirable that she sought to serve God, in truth it was her own peace that she was seeking, not her desire to serve and help others. In her realization of this truth, she becomes even more zealous in her religious fervor. When she is thrust from her vocation due to the dissolution of the Catholic religious houses, she embarks on a treacherous journey that causes much strife in the lives of her family and her own.And then there is Father Alec Cahill, a priest who is conflicted in his religious convictions and in his role as a priest and wanting to live life as a real man. Thrown in the midst of the tempestuous court of Henry VIII in his service to Archbishop Cranmer, Father Alec is really at the center of The Sumerton Women's religious story. He is a pivotal character with whom the reader can very much relate.Ultimately, The Sumerton Women is a well-researched and thought provoking historical novel. Not only do we feel for the characters and their experiences, we also gain insight into how so many lives were affected by the actions of Henry VIII, and not just the lives at court.