BookBrowse Reviews The Confessions of Catherine de Medici by C. W. Gortner

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

The Confessions of Catherine de Medici

A Novel

by C. W. Gortner

The Confessions of Catherine de Medici by C. W. Gortner X
The Confessions of Catherine de Medici by C. W. Gortner
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    May 2010, 416 pages
    Paperback:
    May 2011, 432 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
BookBrowse First Impression Reviewers

Buy This Book

About this Book

Reviews

BookBrowse:


A historical novel about Catherine de Medici, one of history's most powerful and controversial women

If you like historical fiction, BookBrowse readers think you'll love The Confessions of Catherine de Medici. 13 out of 14 of them rated it 4 or 5 stars. Here's what they had to say:

C.W. Gortner re-imagines the trials and tribulations of Catherine de Medici "in her own words," an interesting, successful technique that effectively presents the life and times of a complex historical figure whose life story is permeated with sadness, betrayals, exaggerations and intrigue. Gortner's well written, informative and enjoyable fictional rendition could encourage readers to compare his treatment and research of this historical figure with one of Catherine de Medici's biographers. In Gortner's words, "All stories have two sides, and Catherine's is no exception." (Marie A)

The opposing sides of Catherine's nature and actions make it difficult to decide whether to love, despise or sympathize with her. I think I ended up with somewhat mixed feelings about her. She knew that as the daughter of noblemen, her life was not her own, but after the death of her husband she became a power to be reckoned with as she did everything she could to secure the throne for her children. Whether what was necessary was right or moral may not have always been what determined her actions, but perhaps her ultimate motivation was right. She was clearly a complex woman in a complex time (Juli S). I can't promise you'll like her; she has many sides, but they're all fascinating, and you'll thoroughly enjoy her company. I actually took a 2 day vacation with these 400 pages of non-stop page-turning. The history is passed out like a dessert tray in between meaty courses of Catherine (Mary G).

Gortner does a phenomenal job of portraying a very complicated era in French history and making it interesting to the reader. Catherine does, eventually, become a lovable character, and I felt great empathy for each of her losses and failures... and there were many (Amy H). If you enjoy history, intrigue and a little mayhem, you will enjoy this book (Barbara R).

This review was originally published in August 2010, and has been updated for the May 2011 paperback release. Click here to go to this issue.

This review is available to non-members for a limited time. For full access, become a member today.
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Beyond the Book:
  Catherine de Medici

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten!

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Timekeepers
    Timekeepers
    by Simon Garfield
    If you can spare three minutes and 57 seconds, you can hear the driving, horse-gallop beat of Sade&#...
  • Book Jacket: How to Stop Time
    How to Stop Time
    by Matt Haig
    Tom Hazard, the protagonist of How to Stop Time, is afflicted with a condition of semi-immortality ...
  • Book Jacket: Mothers of Sparta
    Mothers of Sparta
    by Dawn Davies
    What it's about:
    The tagline on the back cover of Mothers of Sparta says it all: "Some women...
  • Book Jacket: Fortress America
    Fortress America
    by Elaine Tyler May
    In Fortress America, Elaine Tyler May presents a fascinating but alarming portrait of America's...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The Women in the Castle by Jessica Shattuck

A nuanced portrait of war, and of three women haunted by the past and the secrets they hold.

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Force of Nature
    by Jane Harper

    A riveting, tension-driven thriller from the New York Times bestselling author of The Dry.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    As Bright as Heaven
    by Susan Meissner

    A story of a family reborn through loss and love in Philadelphia during the flu epidemic of 1918.
    Reader Reviews

Who Said...

Polite conversation is rarely either.

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Word Play

Solve this clue:

G O T P, B The P, F T P

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.