October 09, 2011
The Other Queen by Philippa Gregory
Mary Queen of Scots is being held prisoner in England after she flees Scotland. She longs to return to her throne, but at the time, is held by Queen Elizabeth. Her jailers/companions are Bess and George Shrewsbury, a count and countess. Bess is a self made woman who's most important wishes are to maintain her home and wealth. George cares mostly about his honor but comes to like this unfortunate Queen. As Mary surrounds herself with plot and intrigue, none of them are safe though.
I didn't really like any of the characters in this novel. They were all pretty self absorbed. Bess was at least interesting, but still not very easy to warm too. Her husband was a fool and a pretty big one at that. And Queen Mary I just did not find charming like she was supposed to be in the book. Since these were the main three characters in the book and the narration told from all of their points of views, it was rather disappointing to not enjoy reading about any of them. Even the side characters didn't have a lot of depth and weren't really needed.
Gregory in this one again selects three characters and has the narration told by each of the three in different chapters. This serves to make the book very choppy and hard to sink into. The book was also quite boring as we are told about a lot that happens, but none of it actually happens in the book, it is just passed on my word of mouth and so we see three people laze about a home for most of the book. I'm not a historian, so I can't comment on whether or not this book was historically accurate, but this one didn't even have the saving grace of being interesting. I think the only thing I did like about this book was that it served as a continuance for the rest of the series.
Not a very good book by Gregory. She has done much better than this. I can only hope that as I continue reading her books, that they are much better than this one.
The Other Queen