Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The White Queen

by Philippa Gregory

Historical fiction (along with chocolate) is my weakness. I love history and almost became a history major in college (perhaps I missed my calling), so, naturally, turning history into a novel has great appeal to me. I've devoured many of Ms. Gregory's books: "The Other Boleyn Girl", "The Boleyn Inheritance", "The Queen's Fool", "The Constant Princess", and the list goes on. She enthralls me anytime she puts pen to paper, and "The White Queen" was no different.

The Tudors were a fascinating family, but it was refreshing to switch gears and turn to the family that came before the Tudors-- the Plantagenets. I don't want to spoil the story for you, but the events happen during a time of strife and civil war and King Edward had to fight to even get the throne, much less stay on it. He marries the beautiful Elizabeth Woodville, who becomes the "White Queen", and drama and adventure ensue.

This book was a birthday gift from my parents, and I cracked it open the second I had a free time and did not stop reading it until the end. Oh, I suppose I went to work and hung out with friends, but that nonsense happened between chapters. The voice of Elizabeth really brought out her character and the trials she had to go through. Weaved in between the action was the story of Melusina, the water goddess, and it fit in so well with the novel you almost didn't even notice it.

Elizabeth was so pragmatic. I think that's what I liked the most. She had her ambitions and when they exceeded her expectations, she just went with the flow and remained her stoic, stubborn self. She loved her family and enjoyed being queen, but she stuck with her opinions and did what she could to attain her goals.

This book is the first of a series about the Plantagenet family, and I'm excited to feed my addiction with the rest of the novels. If you love historical fiction like I do, pick up this novel. And if you have yet to read a Philippa Gregory book, any one of them that you read will make you a fan. Just be warned, though. You may not want to stop reading to do normal everyday tasks...

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