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Barbara O. (Maryland Heights, MO)
Victoria, Before Albert
This is a wonderful book revealing the story of the young Victoria, one of England's most famous and long-serving Monarchs. How does a sheltered young woman suddenly become queen and negotiate her way through all the political intrigue and find her true self? Daisy Goodwin presents us with a delightful story of the young Victoria, a young woman with all her thoughts and feelings learning to become her own person. Victoria becomes real to the reader, a lovely young woman and not the severe Queen we are familiar with from her portrait in our history books. A wonderful story for those of us that love reading about the English aristocracy. Bravo!
Captivating Story of Young Queen Victoria
It feels like it has been awhile since I read a book that felt strictly like pleasure reading, and Victoria was perfect in that regard. Goodwin's storytelling is wonderful - - I felt transported to the 19th century and captivated by the story of an 18 year old Queen who simultaneously must contend with the responsibilities and politics of her position and the normal coming of age problems. The story has historical detail, enough to set the scene, but not too much to bog you down, romance, a bit of fashion, and some political challenges - - all of which are presented in a completely engaging way. Very enjoyable read that I would totally recommend to any historical fiction buff.
Patricia W. (Richmond, VA)
The Queen in her Young Years
We've heard and read about Queen Victoria in her formidable later years. This book explores her early years and her early days as a young queen. Her obstacles were many. This book tells her story well, is informative, highly entertaining and sure to be enjoyed by people who enjoy historical fiction.
Barbara E. (Rockville, MD)
I was very much looking forward to reading this historical novel about the young Victoria. I found it well-written, easy to read, and generally an enthralling story. I thought the author created fully realized characters. However, I did eventually tire of Victoria's tantrums. While her behavior is all too typical of a very young and immature girl, it did become tedious.
Carole R. (Burlington, WI)
I wanted more!
VICTORIA by Daisey Goodwin covers the very early years of Victoria's life, from her childhood through her coronation and early courtship with Prince Andrew. The book is very readable and at times felt like a stage for a TV show which is exactly how the story develops. Does this distract from the book? No. Did I enjoy the book? Yes. But when all was said and done I wanted more, I wanted an Erik Larson treatment of Queen Victoria. Hopefully this book would be published as a trade paperback with discussion questions immediately. Wouldn't it be great for bookclubs to read this early in 2017 and enjoy the PBS shows or read along each week?
[Editor's Comment: BookBrowse will be hosting a discussion of Victoria starting Jan 24, to coincide with the broadcast of the PBS series (also written by Daisy Goodwin).]
I was looking forward to receiving this book since my favorite genre is Historical Fiction. I was not disappointed. The author has made Victoria's ascension to the throne come to life. The author provided the background of Victoria's life in an easily read format. Victoria as well as the other main characters were presented so that you felt you knew them. Although the book covers only a short period of her life it sets the foundation for her reign. Can't wait to see the presentation on Masterpiece Theater.
Donna W. (Wauwatosa, WI)
This was very good historical fiction. It was clearly written with great detail so that I got a good feeling for, not only, Queen Victoria and the early years of her reign, but also what late 1830s England was like.
Anne C. (Herndon, VA)
However, this detail also proved to be a distraction for me, and I finished the book with the feeling that it was about 50 pages too long. That said, the book was good, and those lovers of historical fiction will enjoy this book.
I have always been interested in Queen Victoria and have read many books, both non-fiction and fiction, about her. This novel about the first two years of her reign is one of the very best! Beginning with her realization in 1835, at age 16, that she would become Queen of England, the novel explores her feelings, first as a teenager and then as a young woman accepting the responsibilities of her destiny. Taking the name of Victoria as her royal name for her coronation in 1837 was one of her first acts of defiance against her mother and other advisers who tried to dominate her. With the help of her first prime minister Lord Melbourne, she learns to stand up against pressures from political parties and from her own relatives. The author writes very movingly about Victoria's insecurities about her appearance and small stature, her infatuation with Melbourne, and her uncertainty about whether she should ever marry. Late in the book we read of her mixed feelings for her cousin Prince Albert, whom she eventually decides to marry. Royal protocol requires that she be the one to propose, which she does in 1839.
She is such a fascinating character, and Ms. Goodwin writes with such deep sympathy for Victoria, that I hope the author will continue her story in subsequent volumes!