Caroline's Reviews > The White Queen

The White Queen by Philippa Gregory
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's review
Sep 13, 09

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bookshelves: historical-fiction, read-in-2009
Read in September, 2009

In the realm of Philippa Gregory, where one book can be a trashy romance novel and the next can be a frustratingly dull drama, I never really know what to expect when I pick up a new novel of hers. I was hoping for something that fell somewhere in between the two extremes, and happily The White Queen is one of those such novels. Told from the perspective of Elizabeth Woodville, this story begins as she's trying to catch the eye of the young King Edward IV. The plot goes all the way through Henry VII becoming the king, and speculates heavily as to what happened to Elizabeth and Edward's two sons during the political upheaval of this time.

Elizabeth starts off as a very strong, fascinating protagonist, but the further along I read the more it seemed like her character was getting more and more watered down. I liked the inclusion of the myth of Melusina, but it didn't make up for the weakness in the characterization of Elizabeth.

I couldn't help but feel rushed at times, as the story jumped further and further into the future, and hardly spent time developing the characters in real time. The novel at times effectively summarized the events during the 21 years that it covers, and a lot of it seems to boil down to chapters dealing with the birth of another child.

Not bad--the history surrounding the events is fascinating, and Gregory has an interesting take on what could have happened to the princes in the Tower. A solid story, it just didn't grab as much as I'd hoped, especially after the excellent first few chapters.

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Reading Progress

09/07/2009 page 1
09/10/2009 page 85
20.83% "So far this seems to be one of the stronger of her novels, a good balance between more literary but not dry like some of her novels."
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