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Lady of the Rivers by Philippa Gregory
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Lady of the Rivers (original 2011; edition 2012)

by Philippa Gregory

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1,119627,372 (3.78)42
Member:blauerengel
Title:Lady of the Rivers
Authors:Philippa Gregory
Info:Simon & Schuster Ome (2012), Paperback
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:fiction, history

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The Lady of the Rivers by Philippa Gregory (2011)

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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 |
I have been looking forward to this book ever since I heard she was writing it. Jacquetta is an interesting person to say the least. And you can say that when this book end, then book 1 actually begins, The White Queen. Since it is up to that point we hear her story.

Jacquetta married the Duke of Bedford, something that his former brother in law did not like. And they lost the support of Burgundy. In this book Gregory has the duke marrying Jacquetta because of her legacy, she is a descendant of Melusina. While in truth, who knows, he was old., she was young and pretty. That is reason enough. There she also meets Richard Woodville whom she later married without the kings blessing, and they pay for it. But when you are in love you are and I do admire Jacquetta for going against everything and everyone at a time like that.

And the story, yes we get to see England fight for France. Jacquetta get children, a lot, poor woman, she was always pregnant. Well at least they liked each other ;) And of course the fall of the Lancaster King. The king falling into his sleep, Queen Margaret trying to keep the country together and then the start of the war of the roses. I also got thinking and I do like to think that Margaret got her child by a lover. Who can tell. And of course a book like this always has me picking a side. By now I have reached the conclusion that I will always start of as a Lancastrian but when Edward comes along I am Yorkist all the way. I also find it funny that I never like Warwick, no way. I haven't liked him in any book I have read so far about this time.

Some do not like the magic in these books. But I look at it another way. I let Jacquetta think she can see the future, because back then superstition ruled. So if she thinks the saw the future it's because she thought it so. Therefore I do not mind it at all. It does not take anything from the novel. It should also be there since the talk was that she was a witch, just like many other women of power, or who was strange, alone, old, anything really.

What we got in the end is an interesting tale about a woman who risked it all and who lived through dangerous times and got to see her daughter become queen (even if we do not see it here). I am glad Gregory wrote a book about Jacquetta and I am certainly glad to have read it. It was just what I wanted and I will not get tired of The cousin's war.

Conclusion:
A great book that I recommend to all fans of historical fiction, and to everyone because you can't go wrong with history. And it may be long, but it is good. She does make history come alive. In the end we have this fascinating tale about a strong woman in a rich setting and it is worth exploring.

Rating:
Recommended ( )
  blodeuedd | Mar 2, 2016 |
I love history and historical novels, so the story of Jacquetta and her life as a member of the court of King Henry (don't ask me which number) and Queen Margaret fascinated me. I have to confess, my knowledge of the real history is so poor, I had to keep turning to the family tree printed (thankfully!) at the front of the book to try to keep the various dukes and duchesses and other assorted royalty straight in my head, and even then I didn't quite succeed.

I also had some difficulty reading a fictionalized account of a terribly bloody period of time because I was afraid to turn the page and find out who was beheaded, or killed in battle, or imprisoned in the tower. Somehow knowing that the characters were based on real people kept me feeling a little queasy. Ms. Gregory is a skillful story-teller, though, and I couldn't put the book down until I'd finished.

All in all, I enjoyed the story, and can only count myself as blessed that I live in this time, and in this country. ( )
  LeahDee | Jan 24, 2016 |
I have gone back to this series of books as a new title has arrived on my doorstep - I am reading them in chronological order however to go through time with the characters. I found I enjoyed it even more reading for the second time - found details I had missed last time and got sucked totally sucked in. Completely devoured the book - Love this series of books - can only hope that Philippa Gregory will continue with it. ( )
  SineadB | Dec 7, 2015 |
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Philippa Gregoryprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Amato, BiancaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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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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