Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Victoria - Book Review

Victoria is just eighteen years old when her uncle king dies and leaves her the throne of England. She's young, naive and sheltered but with the guidance of her Prime Minister Melbourne and her headstrong determination, Queen Victoria will lead on her own. She will stumble and fall but pick herself up to become one of the most revered leaders of her kingdom's history.

Victoria by Daisy Goodwin is a fictionalized account, drawing on research and Victoria's own diaries, to bring the young monarch to life. The strength lies primarily in the characterization. Goodwin allows the reader's to see the insecurity and deeper feelings of the characters. They become real people placed in grand situations. There is intrigue and danger but it is an undercurrent to the main story of Victoria's rise. The novel is very chaste. Anyone looking for a Philippa Gregory telling will be disappointed.

I am overly fascinated by stories of the British crown. I like the books, the movies and the television series. I enjoyed Victoria by Daisy Goodwin. I am looking forward to the series that Goodwin has created for television. It will be a Masterpiece Presentation on PBS starting in January 2017. I will be watching it.

I did have a few issues with the novel. First, it focused mainly on Victoria being young, foolish and occasionally vindictive. We only briefly see glimpses of the strong and capable leader she will become. Second, the novel ends just as the new blossoming relationship between Victoria and Albert begins. This relationship is entirely secondary in the novel and I would have liked to see their future explored more.

I was entertained by the novel and when I was finished was left wanting to know more about Victoria. It ended so abruptly that I wondered if there were plans for additional volumes. Certainly, Queen Victoria did more worth writing about than pine after Prime Minister Melbourne. Victoria by Daisy Goodwin is not perfect but it is enchanting and a new look at the young queen.

Victoria by Daisy Goodwin is published by St. Martin's Press and released on November 22, 2016.

1 comment:

Kate Scott said...

I liked the fact that the focus of this book was on the time before Albert. I think it added a different dimension to Victoria's character. What I didn't like about it was how the writing transitioned from scene to scene so rapidly and without preamble. It felt like it was cobbled together from the television script.