Saturday, September 10, 2011

Review: "The Lady of the Rivers" by Philippa Gregory

From Goodreads:  Jacquetta, daughter of the Count of Luxembourg and kinswoman to half the royalty of Europe, was married to the great Englishman John, Duke of Bedford, uncle to Henry VI. Widowed at the age of nineteen she took the extraordinary risk of marrying a gentleman of her house-hold for love, and then carved out a life for herself as Queen Margaret of Anjou's close friend and a Lancaster supporter - until the day that her daughter Elizabeth Woodville fell in love and married the rival king Edward IV. Of all the little-known but important women of the period, her dramatic story is the most neglected. With her links to Melusina, and to the founder of the house of Luxembourg, together with her reputation for making magic, she is the most haunting of heroines.

My Thoughts: 
I received this book from NetGalley for review.  This book surprised me.  I thought that it sounded like an interesting story but I don’t always love Philippa Gregory’s books.  I loved that she took Jacquetta Woodville and made her a likable character.  She is usually portrayed as this evil, money grubbing woman hell bent on raising her position by using magic to get Edward IV to marry her daughter.  This book was so different in that respect.  She made Jacquetta seem like a very loving person who cared about her husband and children more than anything in the world and I really sympathized with her.  The love story between Jacquetta and her husband, Richard Woodville, was well written and it was nice to read a book in the historical fiction genre that was about a couple who married for love.  I did think that this book was a bit too long; I know that a lot happened in Jacquetta’s life prior to her daughter becoming queen of England, but I didn’t feel like I needed to follow her younger years minute by minute.   I also thought that the end of the book was unique; I kind of expected the story to include her daughter’s rise to power but I thought it was interesting that Gregory chose to end the story with Edward IV meeting Elizabeth for the first time.  I didn’t hate the ending, I just feel like there was a lot more of Jacquetta’s story to tell that was not included.  Overall, this was a pretty good book.  3 stars.

2 comments:

  1. I feel the same way about Philippa Gregory, I don't always love her books, but this one seems pretty good. Maybe I will give it a try! Thanks for the great review :)

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  2. I've enjoyed the other two books in this series and can't wait to read this one. I've noticed that there are less details in these books than compared to her Tudor's series, and I think I read somewhere (maybe her website?) that she had much less historical detail to work with so maybe that's got something to do with the lack of depth?

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