The White Queen by Philippa Gregory
A HUGE THANK YOU to Simon and Schuster Canada for sending me a copy of "The White Queen" for review!
SUMMARY: (Chapters.ca) Brother turns on brother to win the ultimate prize, the throne of England, in this dazzling account of the wars of the Plantagenets. They are the claimants and kings who ruled England before the Tudors, and now Philippa Gregory brings them to life through the dramatic and intimate stories of the secret players: the indomitable women, starting with Elizabeth Woodville, the White Queen.
The White Queen tells the story of a woman of extraordinary beauty and ambition who, catching the eye of the newly crowned boy king, marries him in secret and ascends to royalty. While Elizabeth rises to the demands of her exalted position and fights for the success of her family, her two sons become central figures in a mystery that has confounded historians for centuries: the missing princes in the Tower of London whose fate is still unknown. From her uniquely qualified perspective, Philippa Gregory explores this most famous unsolved mystery of English history, informed by impeccable research and framed by her inimitable storytelling skills.
"The White Queen" will always be special to me as it was my very first Advanced Reading Copy (ARC) sent to me by a pubishing house. I was very excited to read this book as I was a HUGE fan of "The Other Boleyn Girl" by Gregory, and had heard many good things about "White Queen" so I immediately started reading.
The first 50 pages or so of the book will have you swooning all over the place. At least that's where it had me. The georgous blonde king falling in love with Elizabeth is Gregory's story telling at it's absolute best! But right after the coronation is when the story starts to become little more than a retelling of events, for me. The majority of the book was very much a "talking heads" book and more like non-fiction. Most of it lacked Gregory's usual dramatic edge and emotion, and I felt myself becoming bored and often times confused as to where the characters were physically in the story and what they were doing when the pages and pages of dialogue started.
What I did like about it, though, were the scenes in which Edward and Elizabeth were alone as husband and wife and gently teasing one another, or embracing in powerful displays of love. These were like lovely oases in a stark and long trek through facts and history. Also, the whole theme of the mythical Melusina was lovely, and I also enjoyed the "witchy" aspects of Elizabeth and her mother.
Near the end of reading it I started to wonder what I would say about the book, and knew that I had to have a balanced review for my readers. While I did not "not" like it, I couldn't say in all honestly that I LOVED it either. It was a fast read, and definately peaked my interest for more about this particular royal family and their story.
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