This deliciously French historical on Louis XV, the Well- beloved (le bien aimé) just led me to further embrace my passion for reading Plaidy. Simply...moreThis deliciously French historical on Louis XV, the Well- beloved (le bien aimé) just led me to further embrace my passion for reading Plaidy. Simply put: History at its best. Yes, I did say history, because no matter that Plaidy’s novels classify as HF, you just need to read one to immediately understand that this is an accurate version of the past retold in its best form.
Louis The Well Beloved, Jean Plaidy
The story begins with the Sun King, Louis XIV (Louis XV’s great grandfather) on his death bed, his life imminently ending. From the moment the Sun King holds his little great grandson and tells him that he will be his successor, I fell in love with the little guy who would become the Well beloved of all of France. If it weren’t for his great grandfather and uncles, Little Louis was left practically an orphan after the sudden deaths of both his parents and older brother. The only one left to mother him was his governess, whom he became completely and totally attached to (in my opinion, this in itself probably set the stage for loving in a grand way, all the subsequent ladies in his life).
It was incredibly interesting to read about Louis’ coming of age as a Little King admired by all. From the beginning we sense his kind nature and desire for closeness and intimacy (with the privileged few, mind you). Even more important, Louis stands out as one whose great aversion to any type of conflict or breach of etiquette was mega- or borderline insane.
Louis The Well Beloved takes us through Louis ’life, his reign and his loves...and of these, there were quite a few. Louis, in his all consuming passion for the ladies, was, believe it or not, incredibly faithful (especially for those times...and in France!). Without going into too much detail, I will mention the obvious Mistress, Madame de Pompadour; notorious for winning the King’s heart (she wasn’t the first nor the last though...). I love the way Plaidy portrays her in this novel. It’s a refreshing look at someone whom I thought to have been quite the opposite (well at least in this first book of this series).
Plaidy also brings in Louis’ children (mostly daughters) and shows us the King as an overly protective, doting - father. we get a good taste of what the princesses were like as well. Louis was also a most loving husband. Yes, another surprise, this Queen was blessed with Kingly love. Too much love, in fact- Louis was insatiable. Sadly we see how their love slowly digressed- but the respect remained and neither was really to blame. Louis really tried.
As far as the country went, France loved her King. Louis could do no wrong. It was all the fault of either his ministers, tutors, queen or mistresses. Louis was their hero, but how long could they sing that tune? The seeds of the Revolution were slowly taking root. For how long could Louis remain The Well Beloved?
I f you love French history, and all the eccentricities of etiquette taken too far, along with a good dose of rapturous forbidden love- this Plaidy is for you. I absolutely must read 'Road to Compiegne' next- which is the sequel to this one.
DAUGHTER OF MINE, is the story of Tiziana Manoretti, a 27 year-old living in Montreal with her parents (nothing of an oddity for Italian Canadians) an...moreDAUGHTER OF MINE, is the story of Tiziana Manoretti, a 27 year-old living in Montreal with her parents (nothing of an oddity for Italian Canadians) and set to find the truth about her birth. After discovering that she was adopted, Tiziana leaves for Naples Italy, in search of the story behind her adoption. Intricate details lead to a search that seems almost futile, but with the help of the charming Gian-Carlo- a man she feels completely comfortable with from the moment she meets him..strange? No, perfectly natural, actually... (I’ll say no more to avoid a spoiler;)
Why should finding the truth about her birth and adoption become such a dramatic event? Well, it seems that the family has more to hide than to share. A secret lies in a treasured and secret box...When Tiziana discovers its contents, the pieces of the puzzle come together at last.
What about love? Perhaps her one and only best friend, Christopher holds the key to that locket...or will love be found through Gian Carlo. Whichever way love takes these men, Tiziana will hold the key to their heart. I loved reading about the familiar places, streets and names of my native Montreal. As well, Italy always captures my heart and this novel brings out its very best.
Laura Fabiani spins a tale that is worth the intrigue, suspense, charm and heart warming moments that this pleasant read brings.
Beautiful! I’m glad I let myself get swept away in this delightful novel- reminiscent of all that is cherished of the old country, its beauty, traditions and forever typical charming flavour blends perfectly with all that is new and worth holding onto.(less)
This book can empirically claim its place alongside the magna –grand scale productions such as Marc Antony and Cleopatra, Caesar, Samson and Delilah.....more This book can empirically claim its place alongside the magna –grand scale productions such as Marc Antony and Cleopatra, Caesar, Samson and Delilah...you see where I’m going with this- The Big Screen. I was completely enraptured. Paramount are you reading this? I don’t think I’ve ever read a book where the story manages to clench my insides and get to that part of my gut where just a tad more would be enough to... and then stops- to just about where I’ve had as much as I can take. Mistress of Rome takes you there. Kate Quinn knows exactly how much we can handle-right upto that very point where you must exhale, to then weave the story into bliss. In this grand novel, the crude is mirrored and diminished by the grand and triumphant splendour of love and tenderness. That being said, Mistress of Rome is also about power, vice, history, raw times and treachery. There’s struggle with moral issues, psychological afflictions and disturbances, scheming ascensions, spectacular gladiator triumphs- and yes, along with it all, as expected in decadent and barbaric Rome, alot of gore, as well. Too much to handle? No, everything is given in just the right dose and is not focal to the magnitude of the story itself. Quinn is spectacular at her craft. The story is told through the perspective of important characters - principally, Thea, the unattainably invincible Jewish slave (gentleness and sorrow behind a stony facade- I loved her!); the harsh and brutally scheming Lepida (I’m still disgusted...), and Julia, the vestal virgin (my soul cried out for her...). I know that the shifting character perspective is not a favourite with many- but for me, I believe that this actually enhanced the plot, helping to render an excellent story. I loved getting into their heads. Quinn did an all-around amazing job with this superb novel. And so what about gladiators? In this book you’ll meet Arius-an indestructible powerhouse who bows down to no one-not even the Emperor. The 'Barbarian', they called him- He lives up magnificently to the legend rather than the name. As for the Emperor, who delighted in taunting in his sick pathetic and torturing ways, well, let’s just say that all those worthy of time spent serving him for pleasure and for vice, would ultimately reach their time for vengeance... Ahhh, there is so much to this novel that I just cannot do it justice with one simple review. If you love all that is of the ancient world- you need to read this. Mistress of Rome gets as crudely descriptive (though in good taste- yes in this novel it’s possible!) as you’d imagine; while being as tender as you’d dream it could be- all that and more. One word: Colossal (less)
I have been excited about this book’s release ever since I first read mention of it on Delors’ Versailles and More blog, awhile back. What could be mo...moreI have been excited about this book’s release ever since I first read mention of it on Delors’ Versailles and More blog, awhile back. What could be more appealing to me than a book set in France during the Revolution- with a sneak peak at both Josephine and Bonaparte, and involving characters such as Fouché- well-Obviously I couldn’t wait to devour this!
I was ready to escape to a time filled with intriguing history, some romance...the usual? No way! This one involves a full-fledged mystery to boot! I was delighted by this unexpectedly captivating ride! Chief Inspector Miquel Roch is on a mission to uncover the truth behind the resulting massacre in the attempt to blow away First Consul himself, Bonaparte. Who masterminded this failed operation? The suspects are on the run, but the clues are numerous. One mystery person works behind the scene to help move the whole operation forward...For The King....
Jacobites, Chouans, Royalists- typically anyone of these groups would have had motive to want do away with Napoloen, the Usurper...This is a mystery with more at stake than Inspector Roch could have ever imagined; For one, his father’s life depends on it.
Truth be told, no matter how good the mystery, I always need a heroine in my stories to keep me hooked. And so, just to make it that more appealing, For The King, has a variety of entertaining French ladies; especially, one particularly tempting Blanche, who happens to be keeper of quite a few heartbeats...literally.
For The King is an intriguing tale spun around actual history. The time frame, setting, plotted assassination, the accused, as well as many of the characters encountered in this read- all real. This made the story that more attractive to me. Delors’ attention to detail and impeccable historical accuracy is remarkable. I was truly delighted to embark in this unexpected mystery that fulfilled more than the promise of another entertaining French historical fiction.
If you are fascinated by the French Revolution and the tumultuous changes of the times, you will absolutely want to read this- it's so interesting! Splendid!(less)