Guest review: The Lady of the Rivers
I don’t read a lot of historical fiction, but my sister enjoys it so I asked her if she’d be interested in The Lady of the Rivers, by Philippa Gregory. Since she’d never read Gregory’s work, she was anxious to give it a try. Here are her thoughts on the book:
Beautiful young Jacquetta of Luxembourg is a descendent of Melusina, the river goddess. As the eldest female of her generation she has inherited the gift of foresight. Tutored in its use by her Great Aunt, she learns that she must be careful with her words and to take care in the world of men. As a young girl she catches the eye of the much older Duke of Bedford, one of the highest ranking men in all of England and France. Uncle to King Henry VI, who at the age of nine months became the youngest person ever to succeed to the throne, he serves as English Regent of France. When the Duke’s wife dies, he immediately arranges to marry the seventeen year old Jacquetta much to her dismay. It’s a loveless marriage, but Jacquetta is young and resilient and makes the most it. She comes to respect and admire her husband and soon takes up his cause.
The Lady of the Rivers, the third installment of the Cousins’ War series, is historical fiction set in England during the time called the War of the Roses when England’s aristocratic families battled for control of the kingdom. If you’re like me, you probably found grammar school history lessons to be tedious and boring. With lots of names and dates to remember your eyes literally rolled back in your head. This book is not at all like that. Philippa Gregory makes history come to life. She is a recognized expert in women’s history. When you think about it women have long been given short shrift in life and in history. She wakens women from history who have often been overlooked in favor of their male contemporaries. Her strong female characters are infused with passion, an earnest sense of duty, and fierce loyalty. Knowing nothing at all about this period in English history, I learned a lot and enjoyed it, too. So if you’re an Anglophile or someone who loves historical fiction be sure to read this book. The next book in the series comes out in August and you’ll want to be prepared.