I only gave three books 5 stars this year. But, happily, I gave seven books 4.5 stars which means I can do a top 10!
I read and reviewed 117 this year. Only three of them got 5 stars. I think I may be getting pickier with my 5 stars as I get older!
There were also seven books which came very close to those elusive 5 stars, so I’ve included them here too.
Click on the book title for my full review. Click on the book cover to go to Goodreads.
Here we go!
Historical fiction at its best. 4.5/5 stars.
Thank you to St Martin’s Press and NetGalley for giving me an e-copy of this book for review.
Victoria will be published on 22nd November.
The blurb: In 1837, less than a month after her eighteenth birthday, Alexandrina Victoria – sheltered, small in stature, and female – became Queen of Great Britain and Ireland. Many thought it was preposterous: Alexandrina — Drina to her family — had always been tightly controlled by her mother and her household, and was surely too unprepossessing to hold the throne. Yet from the moment William IV died, the young Queen startled everyone: abandoning her hated first name in favor of Victoria; insisting, for the first time in her life, on sleeping in a room apart from her mother; resolute about meeting with her ministers alone.
One of those ministers, Lord Melbourne, became Victoria’s private secretary. Perhaps he might have become more than that, except everyone argued she was destined to marry her cousin, Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. But Victoria had met Albert as a child and found him stiff and critical: surely the last man she would want for a husband…
I requested this ARC from NetGalley because I’d watched and thoroughly enjoyed the TV version which was recently shown on ITV here in the UK. I liked the characterisation of the historical figures and was particularly gripped by Victoria’s relationships with the Prime Minister, Lord Melbourne, and Prince Albert.
Daisy Goodwin wrote this novel at the same time as writing the TV script and, as you might expect, they are very similar. If you have already watched the TV version, don’t read this expecting any surprises!