The Confessions of Catherine de Medici
By C W Gortner
Published in: 2010
Book #: N/A (Standalone book)
Brought in: Late 2011, from a second-hand store.
Time taken to read: 2-3 days
The sixteenth century: the era of queens. Catherine de Medici is an impressionable, mystical girl. She is orphaned and taken hostage by her enemies, and manipulated by her advisors; yet she is to become France’s most powerful regent.
History will make her name synonymous with evil, but she is all too human. Humiliated at the hands of her husband and his mistress, and haunted by her gift of second sight, she must rise above her troubles and fight to save her dynasty and adopted country.
From the splendors of the Loire palaces to the blood-soaked battles of the Wars of Religion and haunted halls of the Louvre, this is the story of Cahterine’s dramatic life, told by the queen herself.
I brought this simply cause the cover looked cool, and because I’d heard the name but knew nothing about this Catherine de Medici.
Weeeeelll, now I know a hell of a lot more, and I gotta say, I quite like this queen. Her life was hard, she was put in bad situation after bad situation, and yet she rose above it all, trying to make the best of every bad situation and to make her people, her country, at peace. It was… brilliant.
I learnt quite a bit about the time and the religious wars that occured, the people that were running France during this time, and the troubles Cahterine had to go through. It may be fictional, but there are elements of truth to the writing, which kinda makes me feel like I learnt something, which is always nice. But the thing about all of this, is that it’s a damn good story. The writer could have made the book dull and dry, fill it with factual elements rather than telling a story. But instead there is an actual story, told from Catherine’s point of view, and you feel as if you’re there with her, experiencing it all. It was just good. I kept turning hte pages, and spent a great deal of time during and afterwards thinking about this story. While driving through the wine-making region down south, my mind was actually in France in the 16th century.
Is it sad that I really want to read this book again, right now?
Confessions of Catherine review: 10/10. I seem to be doing a lot of 10/10 ratings lately, but these books earned the rating. This one especially. Brilliant.
Would I re-read it? See above. Yeah, of course I would. It was fantastic.
Who would I recommend it to? Fans of fictional historical romances, fictional accounts of real queens, or anyone who likes a decent fictional account of actual events. I would say it’d suit teens, but there is a few somewhat adult events, so perhaps not. And it is told from a femal POV, so I’m not sure it’d suit a male reader. Otherwise, this book is brilliant and I recommend it to everyone.
As a subsequent effect of reading this book, I seriously want to research more about the life of Catherine. There’s some sorces of further reading at the end of the book, which I may check out somepoint over the Dec/Jan holiday period. If I can be bothered to hit the library.