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Lady of the Rivers by Philippa Gregory

Lady of the Rivers (original 2011; edition 2012)

by Philippa Gregory

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1,219646,537 (3.78)42
Title:Lady of the Rivers
Authors:Philippa Gregory
Info:Simon & Schuster Ome (2012), Paperback
Collections:Your library
Tags:fiction, history

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The Lady of the Rivers by Philippa Gregory (2011)


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Boring. ( )
  Contusions | Dec 23, 2016 |
I have a love / hate relationship with Gregory's books.

I have always been fascinated with history - especially British history - and her books made me obsessed. Because of her books, I've spent hundreds of hours doing research, basically fact finding every book I've read of hers, and loving every minute of it. And boring my husband to pieces as I babble to him about the descrepances.

But that's exactly the fun of her books - you know the history is crap, and sometimes downright completely made up, but I've accepted that and can enjoy her books for what they are - a light, enjoyable, romp ( )
  anastaciaknits | Oct 29, 2016 |
I was so excited for this book but then so very underwhelmed.

You want to know why?


Well I shall tell you anyways.

This book is set at the time of the War of the Roses in the mid 1400s England and France but mainly England. The book is about Jacquetta or so it claims. Which brings us right into my biggest complaint about his book. Jacquetta, Lady Rivers, feels like a secondary character throughout most of the book. She just happens to associate and be friends with people that are doing exciting things and is able to hear about them, sometimes see them even *le gasp*, and tell us about them. I'm sorry there is one part near the end of the book where she is apparently the best person to negotiate because London adores her due to her being beautiful. Yup, that's right. Jacquetta is adored because she is gorgeous. We are lead to believe she is also very smart. I could see this but it was really never developed. This led Jacquetta to be a beautiful breeding mule throughout the majority of the book. I'm serious. It follows a formula. The love of her life goes to a battle, she stays with the queen and finds stuff out second hand while being pregnant, she has the baby, love of life comes home, and repeat. 14 times this happens. That's right. That poor woman popped out 14 kids in a time with no pain killers. Yet, she still somehow managed to feel like a secondary character throughout her entire book.

Another pet peeve with this book is the titles and the constant changing of them. Note to all potential writers of historical fiction, pick if you want to use a characters title or their name and stick with it. There are way too many similar names and titles as it is during this time. It makes it that much harder to keep track of them when one moment the person is Edmund Beaufort and next referred to as the Duke of Somerset. I know I should be able to keep track of who is who but with so many people it is difficult when it flip flops.

All that said it is still worth a read for lovers of historical fiction. Anyone who has read Phillipa Gregory knows she is not called the Queen of royal fiction for nothing. She truly can give you a great image of what the world was like at the time. The battle scene descriptions were epic in this book. This leads me to believe that the lack of development for Jacquetta was mainly due to a lack of research material about her. Needless to say the battles would have a better amount of recorded history then a woman of the time no matter how impressive she was. It should also be noted some of the other characters were really well developed and kept the story moving. One major one being Queen Margaret who goes from wide eyed little girl to revenge seeking Queen of death. I feel like Phillipa Gregory might have had better luck writing from Queen Margaret's point of view.

All in all I would give this book 2 out of 5 stars. I don't regret reading it but I didn't adore it either. If you aren't a lover of history I would probably skip this one but if you do love history I'd pick it up. It is a quick read and an interesting look into the beginning of the War of the Roses. ( )
  Alexis_D. | Sep 22, 2016 |
Philippa Gregory brings history to life. I thoroughly enjoyed this book about the life of Jacquetta Woodville, mother of the future queen of England and grandmother to the princes in the tower. I feel pleasantly knowledgeable about The Wars of the Roses after reading this - I frequently fact-checked while reading and looked for more information on points that particularly interested me. I am now interested in finding time to read the other books in the Cousins’ War series.

Full disclosure: I was getting a bit impatient with all the repetitious battles and running around in the last quarter of the book, but that is what really happened. Maybe the author could have summarized a bit?
( )
  memccauley6 | May 3, 2016 |
It's been a long time since I read Philippa Gregory. Another similar author wrote a non fiction on women that frankly distressed me enough that I had to put it down (Rosalinda Miles -- Who Cooked the Last Supper). I think I'll pick it up again. I mention that because that book is completely framing how I'm reading these books. It's fascinating to me how she is taking women in this turbulent time of history and telling the story from their own POV, a different one for each book, so that I am understanding it all on so many different levels. She's adding an element of fantasy but totally built around the historic events and accusations. You can read it as just fun fiction, or as a very powerful case on how women were so subject to their men and the times, or as a good book to study how to present historical fiction. I'm impressed.

About Lady Rivers, what a woman. After a bumpy start, She did her own thing and kept her head and kept from being burned at the stake. What a fascinating life. This book also demonstrates the horror that faced Margaret of Anjou and perhaps at least explains how she grew into the roll Fate, Warwick, and London assigned Her. Pardon me while I go rush to read the next one. ( )
  sydsavvy | Apr 8, 2016 |
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Philippa Gregoryprimary authorall editionscalculated
Amato, BiancaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Book description
Jacquetta had the gift of second sight which she learned at an early age to keep secret. As a child she had met Joan of Arc, who had the same gift, but had met a horrific death when she was accused of witchcraft.   Jacquetta's 'talent' took her into close proximity to the English royal family, which resulted in her becoming mother of the White Queen, Elizabeth Woodville.
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When the death of Joan of Arc shows her the dangers faced by strong women, Jacquetta, a psychic descendant of a river goddess, studies alchemy and becomes the secret wife of Richard Woodville before returning to the court of Henry VI.

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