This story is well-travelled ground, but Gregory's tactic of focusing mostly on one period and alternating chapters between three characters (only one of which is royal) makes it seem fresher.
I really like historical fiction and generally enjoy this author. This is an interesting story of Mary Queen of Scots captivity in England. It is told from the perspective of the couple who have been "selected" to house her for several years before she winds up in the Tower. No one comes out of this novel lilly-white-all the characters have flaws, which makes it so very real.
I have generally enjoyed Philippa Gregory's books, but I did not like this one particularly. It started out quite good, and I like the character of Bess, but it just dragged on too much and was too tedious and repetitive. While I'm sure Mary's life was also tedious and repetitive, this did not make for an enjoyable novel! But do give her other books a go, they're great.
Some of Gregory's books are much more interesting to read than others. I found the Red Queen not much fun, but The Lady of The Rivers was very good. I'll try some more. Also, A Respectable Trade was very good.
I picked up “The Red Queen” and “The Other Queen” randomly at the library. I am a fan of historical fiction, but I hadn’t read anything by Philippa Gregory yet. I finished “The Red Queen” and it wasn’t a huge page turner for me. I made it 60 pages in to “The Other Queen” and gave up. I can’t fault Gregory’s research, but the books plod along for me. This one was especially slow switching between the three viewpoints and I simply wasn’t enticed by Gregory to care what happened to any of them. I don’t think it is fair for me to rank it as I didn’t finish it. Other writers in the genre such as Sharon Kay Penman, Anne Easter Smith, Robin Maxwell, and Anya Seton romanticize their characters a bit, but I think their stories are more engaging.
I really enjoyed this book - perhaps more than some of her others. the book is at least as much about Bess of Hardwick as about Mary. Bess built and maintained a fortune in an age when most women were completely dependent on men - and then nearly lost it when she and her husband were forced to host Mary. Her determination to hold onto her estates and leave a legacy for her children adds an extra dimension to this book.
She really puts you inside the characters heads.
This was not my favorite book of Philippa Gregory's by far. I felt that the novel dragged on and on, which is probably what happened in real life for Mary, Queen of Scots. When the novel was over, I was relieved. I have read most of Gregory's other books about English royals and loved them. Just not very impressed with this one.
An excellent account of Mary, Queen of Scots. Gregory has proven again that she is a master of historical fiction.
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