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

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The Confessions of Catherine de Medici

A Novel

by C. W. Gortner

The Confessions of Catherine de Medici by C. W. Gortner
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  • First Published:
    May 2010, 416 pages
    Paperback:
    May 2011, 432 pages

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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.



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