Saturday, December 31, 2005

The Constant Princess

This book took me a little longer to read than I expected, but I was reading it at night in bed and I kept falling asleep!(I used to think it was a terrible thing that our bodies needed so much sleep, and then I had children and realized that if we didn't need sleep, our children would never sleep, and we would all go insane... LOL)

I digress.

In my opinion, The Constant Princess is one of Phillipa Gregory's better books, but it isn't as good as The Other Boleyn Girl or The Virgin's Lover. It is about Henry VIII's first wife, Katherine. What makes it interesting is that it features her life before Henry decided he wanted to set her aside to marry Anne Boleyn. This is the first time I have ever read of her as a young girl, or even of her early years as queen. I knew she was a queen that was loved by the people, but this book really does a good job of telling the reader why she was so loved. One of the things that Phillipa Gregory does a good job of as well is to include lesser-known history into her books. Not only does she emphasize Katherine in this book, but she also ties in how the Moors were driven away by her parents (Isabelle and Ferdinand), and with them the education and wisdom that they had.

What I didn't like about this book is that the narration alternates between a first person account of Katherine, and a third person account. It wasn't so much the writing style that bothered me, but that every time the book switched to Katherine's story the text was in italics. I personally find it frustrating to read several paragraphs in a row in italics.

The other thing that disappointed me was that brevity of the author's notes at the end of the book. I always like reading the historical accuracies and reading where the author has taken some artistic license, but there really wasn't much of that at the end of this book. I think I have just come to expect that historical background info with this author, and when I got to the end of the book and read only why she enjoyed researching it I was feeling let down... LOL

Content wise, this is a good book, and I do recommend it.

1 comment:

Lu said...

I will have to read this. I do like her books.