Book review: Mistress of the Revolution

Mistress of the Revolution

Mistress of the Revolution

Mistress of the Revolution
By
Catherine DelorsPublisher: Dutton Adult
Pub. Date: 2008
ISBN: 978-0525950547
Pages451

Genre: Historical Fiction/Romance?
Source:
public library
Goodreads

Buy Link

This book counts for the following Reading Challenge:

         hf-reading-challenge-2013

MY THOUGHTS ABOUT THIS BOOK

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READ MY REVIEW

A few years ago, I discovered Catherine Delors through her excellent historical novel For The King, so I decided to read her previous one, Mistress of the Revolution.

The book opens in London in 1815, about 20 years after the French Revolution. The narrator Gabrielle de Montserrat reminisces about these events and the following years by writing about them.

After difficult beginnings in the Auvergne region, she is taken to Paris and presented at the court of Versailles, where she is introduced to all the intrigues and affairs. She is helped financially by Villers (a Duchess’s son) and becomes his lover. He gets politically involved, on the wrong side when monarchy is soon to be ended.

Gabrielle is by now lady-in-waiting to the Countess of Provence (the king’s sister-in-law). She ends up getting arrested herself. Will she humble herself, and try to get help from Pierre-André, the sweet heart of her youth, a commoner who made his way up and has now strong political influence in Paris? Would he or even could he really help her?

I’ll let you read the book to figure out.

I found the novel to be somewhat longer than needed. However, the author did an amazing job on the historical background, before, during, and after the French Revolution, with all the main characters and political parties of the time, basically from 1784 to 1794, including a bit on Napoleon.

There were fantastic descriptions of life at Versailles, reflecting quite well it seems what the common French people thought about Marie-Antoinette once she became queen. There’s hardly any sympathy at all shown here in the narrative toward her.

There was maybe a bit too much of romance elements in this historical novel for me, but it will make it dearer to those who like the mix of romance and historical novel.

WHAT IS IT ABOUT

A singular new voice in historical fiction. A time of decadence in a country embroiled in revolution. An unforgettably high-spirited heroine.

Set in opulent, decadent, turbulent revolutionary France, Mistress of the Revolution is the story of Gabrielle de Montserrat. An impoverished noblewoman blessed with fiery red hair and a mischievous demeanor, Gabrielle is only fifteen when she meets her true love, a commoner named Pierre-André Coffinhal. But her brother forbids their union, choosing for her instead an aging, wealthy baron.

Widowed and a mother while still a teen, Gabrielle arrives at the court of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette in time to be swept up in the emerging cataclysm. As a new order rises, Gabrielle finds her own lovely neck on the chopping block and who should be selected to sit on the Revolutionary Tribunal but her first love, Pierre-André.

Replete with historical detail, complex and realistic characters (several of whom actually existed), and a heroine who demands and rewards attention, Mistress of the Revolution is an unforgettable debut. [Goodreads]



WATCH THE TRAILER

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

delors

Author of Mistress of the Revolution and For the King (publication date: July 8, 2010).

Both are historical novels set in Paris around the time of the French Revolution.
Catherine Delors was born and raised in France.
She is also an attorney with an international practice, and splits her time between Paris, London and Los Angeles.
Visit her blog, Versailles and more, at http://blog.catherinedelors.com. [Goodreads]

HAVE YOU READ THIS BOOK?
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE HISTORICAL NOVEL
ON THE FRENCH REVOLUTION?

SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS  IN A COMMENT PLEASE

WWW Wednesdays (Nov. 27)

www wednesdays
Click on the logo to join the fun!

To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

Please click on the book covers to access the Goodreads synopsis, my review, or virtual book tours.

What are you currently reading?

Badluck WayI requested this book on Netgalley, as it is about Montana,
and I thought it would fit perfectly for my Reading the States Challenge.
Fabulous memoir of a guy on a ranch in Montana,
with gorgeous descriptions of nature
– and also super gruesome and graphic sometimes!
I learn lots of fascinating things on wildlife there.

***

What did you recently finish reading?

Mistress of the RevolutionLast year,
I read For The King by the same author.
I really enjoy well researched
and well written historical fiction,
so I knew I had to try her first book
on the French Revolution.

This was good, but maybe a bit long,
though good at setting the characters
in their historical context,
and spanning over the years just before,
during and after the French Revolution.
The views on Marie Antoinette were interesting,
you will know why in my upcoming review!

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What do you think you’ll read next?

Meadowlark

Received this book from the author.
Historical fiction set in South Dakota,
so will work well also for my challenge on the States,
and hopefully will remind me of
my great hiking time there!

HAVE  YOU  READ  ANY  OF  THESE ?
DID  YOU  LIKE  IT / THEM ?
WHY  OR  WHY  NOT ?

FRIDAY FINDS and BOOK BEGINNINGS (Nov. 22)

FRIDAY FINDS

FRIDAY FINDS
showcases the books you ‘found’ and added to your To Be Read (TBR) list…

whether you found them online, or in a bookstore, or in the library — wherever!
(they aren’t necessarily books you purchased).

So, come on — share with us your FRIDAY FINDS!
Click on the logo to add your link

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Today, I’m presenting the last 5 titles added to my Goodreads TBR, with the synopsis copied from Goodreads as well.

FICTION

Crocodile on the SandbankAmelia Peabody,
indomitable Victorian,
embarks for Egypt armed with confidence, journal, and umbrella.
Enroute to Cairo,
she rescues dainty Evelyn, abandoned by her lover.
They sail up the Nile to the archeological dig of the Emerson brothers
– irascible but dashing Radcliffe and amiable Walter.
A lively mummy, visitations, accidents, kidnap attempt
– evil is afoot.

***

Ocean At The End of the LaneSussex, England. A middle-aged man returns to his childhood home to attend a funeral. Although the house he lived in is long gone, he is drawn to the farm at the end of the road, where, when he was seven, he encountered a most remarkable girl, Lettie Hempstock, and her mother and grandmother. He hasn’t thought of Lettie in decades, and yet as he sits by the pond (a pond that she’d claimed was an ocean) behind the ramshackle old farmhouse, the unremembered past comes flooding back. And it is a past too strange, too frightening, too dangerous to have happened to anyone, let alone a small boy.Forty years earlier, a man committed suicide in a stolen car at this farm at the end of the road. Like a fuse on a firework, his death lit a touchpaper and resonated in unimaginable ways. The darkness was unleashed, something scary and thoroughly incomprehensible to a little boy. And Lettie—magical, comforting, wise beyond her years—promised to protect him, no matter what.A groundbreaking work from a master, The Ocean at the End of the Lane is told with a rare understanding of all that makes us human, and shows the power of stories to reveal and shelter us from the darkness inside and out. It is a stirring, terrifying, and elegiac fable as delicate as a butterfly’s wing and as menacing as a knife in the dark.
I am going to listen to this one, read by the author himself!

***

Silent in the Grave“LET THE WICKED BE ASHAMED, AND LET THEM BE SILENT IN THE GRAVE.”
These ominous words, slashed from the pages of a book of Psalms, are the last threat that the darling of London society, Sir Edward Grey, receives from his killer. Before he can show them to Nicholas Brisbane, the private inquiry agent he has retained for his protection, Sir Edward collapses and dies at his London home, in the presence of his wife, Julia, and a roomful of dinner guests.

Prepared to accept that Edward’s death was due to a long-standing physical infirmity, Julia is outraged when Brisbane visits and suggests that Sir Edward has been murdered. It is a reaction she comes to regret when she discovers the damning paper for herself, and realizes the truth.

Determined to bring her husband’s murderer to justice, Julia engages the enigmatic Brisbane to help her investigate Edward’s demise. Dismissing his warnings that the investigation will be difficult, if not impossible, Julia presses forward, following a trail of clues that lead her to even more unpleasant truths, and ever closer to a killer who waits expectantly for her arrival.

***

NONFICTION

Lost History of the New Madrid Earthquakes

From December 1811 to February 1812, massive earthquakes shook the middle Mississippi Valley, collapsing homes, snapping large trees midtrunk, and briefly but dramatically reversing the flow of the continent’s mightiest river. For decades, people puzzled over the causes of the quakes, but by the time the nation began to recover from the Civil War, the New Madrid earthquakes had been essentially forgotten.           In The Lost History of the New Madrid Earthquakes, Conevery Bolton Valencius remembers this major environmental disaster, demonstrating how events that have been long forgotten, even denied and ridiculed as tall tales, were in fact enormously important at the time of their occurrence, and continue to affect us today. Valencius weaves together scientific and historical evidence to demonstrate the vast role the New Madrid earthquakes played in the United States in the early nineteenth century, shaping the settlement patterns of early western Cherokees and other Indians, heightening the credibility of Tecumseh and Tenskwatawa for their Indian League in the War of 1812, giving force to frontier religious revival, and spreading scientific inquiry. Moving into the present, Valencius explores the intertwined reasons—environmental, scientific, social, and economic—why something as consequential as major earthquakes can be lost from public knowledge, offering a cautionary tale in a world struggling to respond to global climate change amid widespread willful denial.                Engagingly written and ambitiously researched—both in the scientific literature and the writings of the time—The Lost History of the New Madrid Earthquakes will be an important resource in environmental history, geology, and seismology, as well as history of science and medicine and early American and Native American history.

***

What Westerners Have For Breakfast

In the mid-eighties John McBeath and his partner Sue left Australia for India with the dream to open a European-style pensione in an old Portuguese villa in Goa. After several visits to India they had realised that Goa with its European influences, pristine beaches, and laid-back tropical lifestyle was at the start of a tourism boom.

Now told for the first time, this is the alluring true story of what happened: of the locals, expatriates and visitors they befriended, of the colourful, hilarious and sometimes confounding experiences that both enriched and threatened their relationship. Goa rises up from these pages as a seductive and richly rewarding place to live, but jazz writer McBeath isn’t afraid to lay bare the realities.

HAVE YOU READ ANY OF THESE BOOKS?
WHICH ONE IS YOUR FAVORITE
OR SOUNDS MORE APPEALING TO YOU?

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Book BeginningsPlease click on the logo to join Rose City Reader every Friday
to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading,
along with your initial thoughts about the sentence,
impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires.
Please remember to include the title of the book and the author’s name.

Mistress of the RevolutionClick on the cover to read the synopsis

“London, this 25th of January 1815.
I read this morning in the papers that the corpses of the late King and Queen of France, by order of their brother, the restored Louis the Eighteenth, were exhumed from their graves in the former graveyard of La Madeleine, which has since become a private garden,. The remains were removed with royal honours to the Basilica of Saint-Denis, the resting place of the Kings and Queens of France for twelve centuries.”

This is my 2nd book bu Catherine Delors. I enjoyed very much her For The King, on Napoleon. This one is on the French Revolution. It starts slow, but I like the way its crescendo wit the events of 1789 and its consequences.

WOULD YOU KEEP READING?
SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS  IN A COMMENT PLEASE