Historical fiction I could like

The Lady Elizabeth by Alison Weir
For assigned reading I was absolutely dreading, this book was darn good. Yes, you guessed it: I’m reading for a genre study. Also for the historical fiction challenge. And I’m surviving. And, with this book, almost thriving.
It occurred to me that one of the things I dislike about historical fiction is largely absent in this book, namely: the horrible physical suffering of those who lived without modern conveniences. When you’re living as a princess, you don’t do without too much.
Though, you gotta admit, getting thrown into the Tower by your half-sister’s really gotta rather sting, so life wasn’t all that sweet.
This book is about the early years of Elizabeth I—the years before she was queen. I’ve forgotten much of any little I ever learned about that time period (though I fondly recall a children’s book written from the perspective of a mouse in Elizabeth’s court), so I’d forgotten by what path she ascended the throne. I’d forgotten that her half-sister had to die before Elizabeth would become queen. (Dang! Talk about sibling rivalry.)
This novel makes Elizabeth wonderfully human but also shows her to be extraordinary. That gal had some real political acumen. The book also clearly shows Elizabeth’s decision to remain her own person by refusing to marry—since in that era, even a queen would have to bow (in private, at least) somewhat to a husband. She said, Nuts to that! and I think we’d have to say it worked out for her.
The plot here carries a reader right along—there’s intrigue just oozing from the thing. And when you’re horribly clueless like I, it heightens the effect of the drama. For a book I didn’t want to read, I sure had a hard time putting this one down.

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