Wednesday, September 8, 2010
The White Queen by Philippa Gregory
I always expect to like Philippa Gregory's writing more than I do. I love historical fiction. I love well-researched authors. She should fit the bill. There are part of her books I really like. Her characters can be very interesting. She can tell a story. I think she can get bogged down in trying to tell the history (or her version of the history) that some of the elements of good storytelling gets lost. I enjoyed the first half of this book so much more than the last. The first half was interesting. The first half didn't stretch across so many years. The second half had a lot of finishing to do.
This is the story of Elizabeth Woodville, wife of King Edward IV and Queen of England for a time. She is a character in the era known as the War of the Roses, the battle between the Lancasters and Yorks for the crown of England. She is also mother to the Princes in the Tower, the princes whose fate still remains unknown to this day.
Because the history that Gregory writes about takes place so long ago there were a lot of gaps to fill in. Some of her story is based on historical account, other parts are pure fiction and supposition.
She also weaves Elizabeth's story with the legend of Melusina, a half woman/half fish character who Elizabeth considers to be her ancestor.
It's an interesting read at times and enjoyable at times, I just felt my attention drift away a bit at the end.