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A historical novel about strong mothers and their not quite so strong daughters - the mothers being Isabel of Castile, Therese of Austria and Victoria of England - powerful queens each in their time.
However, the fates of the daughters are different: Henry VIII broke with the Catholic Church to cancel his marriage to Catherine, daughter of Isabel. And Marie Antoinette lost her head more or less symbolizing the cause of the French Revolution. Vicky, the unfortunate daughter of Victoria did not have the power to prevent her son from sending Germany into war.
Background as well as the historical documentation is thoroughly examined and perhaps already known. There are many details some more interesting than others. The book stresses on the differences between the conditions of the mothers and their daughters that is political as well as matrimonial. A pattern is not detected and the reader may be left with the question as to why these three queens are selected. Is it time, power or personality that decide the destiny?
I enjoyed this book but not as much as the author's previous book Born to Rule. It is an informative study of the contrasting lives of the highly achieving mothers and the daughters who did not live up to the expectations of their mothers. This is not to say that the fault was with the daughters as at times circumstances worked against them. Each daughters'circumstances were different. I found the work at times repetitive but all in all a good read. I feel that I now know each of the characters much better.
I really enjoyed this book and find Gelardis narrative style to be very pleasant. I enjoyed the parallels she drew between mothers and daughters and, in fact, between all six of the women featured. What other reviews may be missing is the due to the subject matter. I think the author successfully approaches the women in terms of their relationships to each other. It was a book I was sad to see end!
Gelardi gets her facts right but somehow the parts add up to less than the whole. Her idea is intriguing but her presentation lacks insight and verve. Instead we get a rather dull recitation of the facts about some fascinating historical people without any understanding of their characters.
This book is a look at the ties between three royal woman and their daughters.
The lives of Isabelle of Castile, Marie Therese of Austria, and Queen Victoria of England were intertwined with their countries and their daughters Catherine of Aragon (Queen of England) Maria Antonia (Marie Antoinette of France) and Victoria (Empress of Germany)
The book takes a look at their lives and the price they had to pay for being royal.
Helped to put a lot of history in context when we can attach names and dates to it. I especially enjoyed the part about Maria Theresa and Marie Antoinette. History sees her as a rather cold, uncaring person but the book gives her some humanity.