Victoria ペーパーバック – 2016/10/20
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You've seen her on the screen, now read her story... From the creator of the ITV Sunday night drama, VICTORIA, now in its second year, comes the novel by Daisy Goodwin, author of the bestselling MY LAST DUCHESS and THE FORTUNE HUNTER. In June 1837, the eighteen-year-old Victoria wakes up to find that she is Queen of the most powerful nation in the world. Can this tiny girl prevail against the men who believe that women are too hysterical to rule? And what are the secrets behind her famously passionate relationship with her husband, Albert? From one of our greatest historical writers comes a new take on one of our most beloved monarchs... Victoria as you've never seen her before.
Engaging and enthralling * My Weekly * Goodwin manages to create suspense, by imagining Victoria's inner life as revealed in her letters and diaries, and doing full justice to the spirit and independence that made her one ofour greatest monarchs * The Times * Meticulously researched and vividly told, it is a perfect romp * Mail on Sunday * Goodwin demonstrates her admirable ability to fuse wide-ranging knowledge of the period with lively storytelling skills * The Sunday Times * The research is impeccable, the attention to detail perfect, and it brings the formidable figure of Victoria to sparkling life * Sunday Mirror *商品の説明をすべて表示する
There's a really interesting dynamic between the struggle for power that surrounds young Alexandrina (Victoria's birth name), as well as her hard-earned path to ascension. A great player in this is Lord Melbourne, Victoria's closest friend and confidante upon King William IV's death—unusual because he was 40 years her senior—who would go on to be a hugely successful mentor in Victoria's most critical years. Goodwin portrays him as a charismatic, hard-to-figure-out character, and I loved the ambiguous but wholly intriguing relationship between him and Victoria.
Victoria is also highly empowering; I loved reading about the obstacles she faced just for being a female ruler, and how she overcame them. Who would have thought, in 1837, that such a small girl, hardly a woman at eighteen, would end up ruling the world?
While well researched, this novel isn't bogged down with facts or a timeline of events that usually makes historical fiction difficult for me. It felt like a natural story, specifically about Victoria's development in her teenage years and early adulthood. It portrays the Queen in a relatable, human light—a perspective I've never seen before, and appreciate extremely. This is a very approachable account of the more intimate details of Victoria's life; Anglican history buffs and romance lovers alike will really enjoy this.
Pros: Story flows well and the ending is satisfying // Many points of rising action and tension // Well-fleshed characters: Victoria is easy to sympathize with and Lord Melbourne is fascinating // A great historical perspective of an endearing character
Cons: Some parts are melodramatic (not that they're overly dramatic, but the characters just act really scandalized over the smallest things) // I wish the subplot with Victoria's domineering mother had been more developed in the latter half of the book
Verdict: Less of an all-encompassing biopic and more of a glimmering coming-of-age story of one of the most powerful female rulers in history, Victoria is a historical drama that paints a vivid picture of the Queen's earliest, most transformative years. Daisy Goodwin is a natural storyteller; lovers of all things British Royalty will eat this book up. Equal parts political examination and budding romance, it left me thinking: What a beautiful novel. If you're curious about Queen Victoria as a person rather than just her political roles, go pick this up immediately.
Rating: 7 out of 10 hearts (3.5 stars): Not perfect, but overall enjoyable; would recommend, but borrow a copy before you buy!
Source: Complimentary copy provided by publicist via publisher in exchange for an honest and unbiased review (thank you, SheSpeaks and St. Martin's Press!)
I would recommend this novel only if you have no intention of viewing the series.
Nothing wrong with the book, but I spent $12 on simply the written version of the PBS presentation... aka screenplay.
Bottom line, if you've seen the PBS version, don't bother with the book. If not, it is a good read.
Goodwin crafts a would-be love story between the young queen and the middle-aged Lord M, when in reality their relationship was nothing more than mentor/mente or father/daughter. But, of course, it’s easy to image a romance with Lord M when he’s played by the dashing and talented Rufus Sewell…which was my mental image throughout since this book is so closely tied with the TV series. What readers may be surprised to find is that Albert does not come into the narrative until about 80% into the book, which makes for a sweet but seemingly rushed love story. Goodwin’s Albert and Victoria continually get off on the wrong foot, their exchanges ranging from heated to awkward with only a brush of tenderness, but we never really get enough interaction between them to fully believe Victoria’s proposal. Victoria is headstrong and stubborn, yet with everyone telling her to marry Albert I don’t find it fully believable, within Goodwin’s narrative, that she would take one or two tender moments as good enough reason to propose. And although there is a physical attraction, Albert is too awkward and stiff for the reader to ever really get inside his head.
Which brings me to my next point: head jumping. This novel is not exactly close third person, but rather third person hopping from one characters’ head to another within the same chapter, even within the same paragraph, which left me feeling a bit disoriented as to whose perspective I was supposed to be following. I’m generally not a fan of this style not only due to the whiplash, but also because of the restriction when wanting to explore a character’s deeper thoughts and emotions. I feel a close third person, or even a first person perspective, may have worked better here.