Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Perfect Royal Mistress

Diane Haeger

"A legendary actress. A mistress to a monarch. A woman who would rise from the ashes of London to take her place in history.

Nell Gwynne, born into poverty and raised in a brothel, starts her working life selling oranges in the pit at London’s newly reopened King’s Theater, just after the plague and the subsequent Great Fire have devastated the city. Her quick sense of humor and natural charm get her noticed by those who have the means to make her life easier, though Nell is street-smart enough to know that a woman doesn’t get ahead by selling her body. Through talent, charm, intelligence, and sheer determination–as well as a realistic understanding of how the world works–Nell makes her way out of the pit and onto the stage to become the leading comedic actress of the day. Her skill and beauty quickly win the attention of all of London–eventually even catching the eye of the king himself. Before she knows it, the scrappy orange girl with the pretty face and the quick wit finds herself plunged into the confusing and dangerous world of the court, and she must learn quickly who to trust–and who to never turn her back on.

From the grit of the streets and the backstage glamour of London’s theaters to the glittering court of Charles II, The Perfect Royal Mistress is a love story for the ages, the rags-to-riches tale of a truly remarkable heroine."

My Take:

I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed "The Perfect Royal Mistress". It is a classic Cinderella story, only in this book, Cinderella has a biting wit that absolutely entrances you. It is easy to see why the king would keep her as a mistress for so long, she was faithful, loving, and hilarious. This book will make you absolutely fall in love with "pretty witty Nell". An interesting insight this book has to offer, is that people were very much the same back then as they are now. People love their celebrities, and Nell surely was one worthy of such adoration. The relationships in this book were very complicated and very real. The love between Nell and the King was really something special. It was really wonderful to see that in a time of such political intrigue, with everyone having an agenda, that there was at least one pure soul out there who truly loved the king for himself. While reading the book, you knew that if the king had lost everything, she would be by his side. I would give The Perfect Royal Mistress" a rating of a 2, Borders with a Coupon.

Do you enjoy Historical Fiction? Then you will like Witch Child, Abundance, Nefertiti, The Other Boleyn Girl, Too Great a Lady, and The Jester

Do you agree with my review? Do you think I'm totally off base? I'd love to hear about it either way! Be sure to comment and tell me how you feel!

If this book were a movie, it would likely be rated PG, possibly PG-13.  It is about a mistress, so the theme is there, and there are crude references toward illegitimate children, and some suggestive humor, but overall, quite tame.

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