Friday, June 14, 2013

Book Club Friday: Overlooked Women in History

I have not reviewed a book in ages! Hell, I haven't blogged since the "Blog Every Day in May" challenge wore me out. But I've actually finished three books in the last two weeks, which is pretty crazy considering how busy I've been. I want to share my favorite of the three today.
Image via

I've reviewed a book by Philippa Gregory before. She's one of my favorite authors period, and she's easily my favorite author of historic fiction.

About a month ago I went to my local secondhand bookstore to buy a book for my book club. To my delight, I found Lady of the Rivers in amazing condition for only $7.50. I love Philippa Gregory's novels, but even the paperbacks are a bit pricey brand new.

From her website: 

Descended from Melusina, the river goddess, Jacquetta has always had the gift of second sight. As a child visiting her uncle, she meets his prisoner, Joan of Arc, and sees her own power reflected in the young woman accused of witchcraft, before Joan is taken to a horrific death at the hands of the English rulers of France.

Married to the Duke of Bedford, English Regent of France, Jacquetta is introduced by him to a mysterious world of learning and alchemy. Her only friend in the great household is the Duke’s squire, Richard Woodville, who is at her side when the Duke’s death leaves her a wealthy young widow. The two become lovers and marry in secret, returning to England to serve at the court of the young King Henry VI, where Jacquetta becomes a close and loyal friend to his new queen.

Lady of the Rivers is the third book in The Cousins War series, taking place during the War of the Roses. Although readers are first introduced to Jacquetta in The White Queen, this novel begins when Jacquetta is just a young woman, and ends at the beginning of The White Queen.

I couldn't put this down. Between blogging a lot and working two jobs and spending time with Beau, I haven't had much time to read this year. For this book, I made the time. I stayed up late. I read the book with breakfast. I took it with me to work and read it during lunch. I read it while sitting at the front desk of the JCP salon. 

Throughout the book, I wanted to underline the brilliant thoughts Jacquetta had, and I'm not one to write in my books. There is so much reflection on female power and the male fear of women, especially learned women. This book takes place in the 1400s, but the message is, sadly, still true today.

As usual, I'm linking up for Book Club Friday!


  1. While Philappa Gregory isn't my favorite (I much prefer Jean Plaidy or Allison Weir), I do still enjoy her books. I haven't read this one yet, but I do at least own a copy. So hopefully I'll finally get to it over the summer!

    1. I have three books by Jean Plaidy too! The ones written as memoirs by Elizabeth I, Mary Tudor, and Mary Queen of Scots.

      This one was sooo good, especially when you realize how overlooked Jacquetta has been by historians. She was incredibly influential! A member of a very powerful family on three separate occasions. AND she remarried for love! Successfully!

  2. I think I may have all of her books on my tbr list. When I was a kid, I had a fascination with the Elizabethan era - never too late to rekindle old fascinations :)

    1. I love love love her books. She's my favorite writer. I started my love affair with Queen Elizabeth I as a kid, and it's only expanded as an adult. Definitely rekindle that old fascination!

  3. Hi! I just stumbled upon your blog through Jezebel and had to comment on your book review. Philippa Gregory is my favorite novelist hands down! I love that people are out there promoting her Cousins War books because they are some of the best I've read in a long time. I just finished The Kingmaker's Daughter (the next book in the series) and I highly recommend it! I love that Gregory takes the time to write from the perspective of the women during that time because they weren't really given a voice although they were key players. She really takes the time to unravel the Virgin/Whore dichotomy in The White Queen and The Red Queen, fleshing Elizabeth and Margaret out as political players not just props in a man's world.

    And now I ended up writing a novel of a comment myself. Anyway, thanks for writing about this book, I loved it!

    1. She's my favorite too!!!! I don't own all of her books--yet--but I'm working on it. Reading Jacquetta's story was fascinating, and then finding out in the historical note how little work there is on her was both enlightening and disheartening. I mean, she was obviously very powerful, just not in an obvious way. And of course, she's been forgotten by history. =/

      I TOTALLY DIDN'T THINK ABOUT THE VIRGIN/WHORE DICHOTOMY WITH MARGARET/ELIZABETH. Um, it's so obvious now that you write that. My only excuse is that I read them about four months apart.

      Thanks for commenting!


Thanks for reading and commenting!

Anonymous commenting disabled while my mom is sick.

Comments are moderated because I receive a lot of spam, and I think CAPTCHA is annoying. I reply to most of your comments within the comment section because it inspires discussion between readers. For first-time commenters, I try to reply by email.

Yes, you can comment anonymously. Yes, you can disagree with me. However, as of 05/31/2013, if you are commenting anonymously, and your words are hateful or abusive, I will publish these at my discretion. I like that my blog can be a forum for discussion, but anything that blames or mocks survivors of sexual assault will NOT be tolerated.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Copyright © 2013 Finding My Virginity | Design By 2317studio | Powered By Blogger