Thursday, March 8, 2012

Prisoners in the Palace

Book:  Prisoners in the Palace
Author:  Michaela MacColl

Liza is expected to make her debut in 1830s London, but when her parents die suddenly, she is left penniless and must instead enter service. Through fortuitous connections, she gets a position as a lady’s maid to 17-year-old Princess Victoria, who lives with her mother in the neglected and tension-filled Kensington Palace. Liza begrudgingly adjusts to this new role and slowly comes to care for the temperamental, haughty, and pitiable princess even while she rejects lewd advances from Sir John, the household’s powerful secretary. Ultimately, Liza befriends a young boy and a newspaperman (who soon becomes a love interest) in order to confront the public slander surrounding the princess. This novel is full of historical detail, vivid settings, and richly drawn characters, and themes of friendship and romance give the story teen appeal; Liza is a brave yet conflicted young adult with whom readers will identify. The author takes liberties with some historical facts (clarified in an afterword) to create a tale of espionage, romance, grief, and hope


I got this book with the Kindle Deal of the Day.  That always makes me leary, but I do love all things "Royal" so I thought I'd give it a go.

I was so glad I did.

This was an easy read & so enjoyable.

What made me love it even more, in the end, I researched some of Queen Victoria's history.  There were most of the names that were involved with the book.  And even cooler, the diary entries from Victoria were legit diary entries that are in historical records. 

I love that the author turned the facts into a fictional story... it makes sense that it could really happen.

While not a "deep" novel, it was interesting to get a glimpse of history & a different time period & an idea of what Victoria may have been like as a teenager.

And ultimately, the story is about Liza, the maid that once was "higher esteemed" until her parents died.  To see her grief & journey through life & see the woman she would become as she's helping her friend claim the throne as Queen, that's the real story... a story of friendship, of a young lady becoming her own person in the world.

I really did enjoy this book...

My Rating:  4 skeins

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