Reader reviews and comments on The Confessions of Catherine de Medici, plus links to write your own review.

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The Confessions of Catherine de Medici

A Novel

by C. W. Gortner

The Confessions of Catherine de Medici
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  • First Published:
    May 2010, 416 pages
    May 2011, 432 pages

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There are currently 15 reader reviews for The Confessions of Catherine de Medici
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Power Reviewer Vivian H. (12/12/10)

One of History's Most Fascinating Women
I loved this book. It is well written, well researched historical fiction at its best. Catherine de Medici is one of history's most fascinating, misunderstood and maligned women, a contemporary of Mary of Scotland and Elizabeth of England. She has intrigued me since I was a student in high school studying French language and history and heard the story of the rivalry between her and Dianne de Poitiers for the attentions of Henry II - their separate gardens at Chenanceau, the magical chateau with a gallery that spans river Cher. This book covers her childhood in Florence; her marriage to the dauphin of France (a man who thought her beneath him); her obsession with Nostradamus; and her fight to save France from civil war and invasion resulting from religious conflicts. Three of her sons served as kings of France - the last of the Valois. If you love historical fiction and find the 16t Century intriguing - read this book!
Juli S. (Portland, OR) (05/28/10)

The Confessions of Catherine de Medici
Catherine is such an interesting character and despite what is known of her, there is also much speculation and guesswork regarding her motives and methods. I thoroughly enjoyed the way that the author presented Catherine as a young girl eager to fulfill her expected role, a mother and politically savvy monarch.

The opposing sides of her nature and actions are all present in the story and make it difficult to decide whether to love, despise or sympathize with her. I think that I ended up with somewhat mixed feelings about Catherine. 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.

I was very impressed with the character, the story and the writing. I’m looking forward to reading The Last Queen and am eagerly awaiting Gortner’s next book.
chris (05/26/10)

Wonderful book, a must read for lovers of history.
Janet M. (Aiken, SC) (05/25/10)

The Confessions of Catherine de Medici
C W Gortner has written a spellbinding novel about the French Court in the 1500’s. Catherine diMedici is the storyteller but every character is vividly portrayed and developed. The author states that “Catherine lived a complex life in a complex age.” He has written a book that turns this complexity into a tale of love, politics and treachery. It is a book that you can’t put down and when you finish it you wish you had the sequel in hand.
Marie A. (Warner, NH) (05/24/10)

The Confessions of Catherine de Medici
The trials and tribulations of Catherine de Medici "in her own words." An interesting, successful technique to present the reader with events in the life and times of a complex historical figure whose life story is permeated with sadness, betrayals, exaggerations and intrigue. Gortner's historical novel is well worth reading--well written, informative and enjoyable. His rendition could well encourage readers to compare his treatment and research of this historical figure with another of Catherine de Medici's biographers. In Gortner's words, "All stories have two sides, and Catherine's is no exception."
Pamela F. (Grants Pass, OR) (05/23/10)

The Confessions of Catherine de Medici
Great read! Very easy to get into and a story you don't want to put down. I haven't read much about this period so it was truly interesting. Catherine was a strong woman and was more involved in the history of this country than you think a woman of her time would be. I would highly recommend this book to those who love historical fiction.
Barbara R. (Fort Myers, FL) (05/20/10)

Catherine DeMedici
Very enjoyable read. Well researched. I enjoyed learning how she managed to keep her family in charge of the French realm for so many years. If you enjoy history, intrigue and a little mayhem, You will enjoy this book.
Maggie P. (Redmond, WA) (05/18/10)

Get a behind the scenes look
I love the author's first person approach to this story. I've been exposed to material about that time period involving England, but not France before this book. I loved the information I was given about this time period in France. It makes me that much more eager to plan my trip to France next year. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in Historical Fiction. This is a nice blend of fact and fiction.
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