Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Book Review: Mistress of the Revolution + Giveaway!

So, I'm trying something new here {hooray!}. I have tons of books. Tons. I've gotten to the point where I just don't have room to keep them all, because my books take up five bookshelves. Five. In a one bedroom, that's a whole lotta bookshelves. And, normally, I send it through Paperback Swap, but I have so many credits on that site, and well, I think it will be MUCH more fun to give it away. What's the fun of reading great books if you don't share? Right?

So, this is a book review, but at the end, I'm going to give the book away! Check out the end of this post for details!

{Source: Barnes and Noble}

Onto the review:

Mistress of the Revolution details the life of a poor noblewoman, Gabrielle de Montserrat during the time of the French Revolution. Told in a memoir style, this story leads us from her childhood spent at a teaching convent, through several marriages and lovers, and to her exile from France in England.

The story begins with Gabrielle recounting her transition from childhood into womanhood. She is removed from the teaching convent and is brought to live with her brother, mother, and sister. After a love affair in which she commits to marry a country doctor with whom she has fallen madly in love, she is forced to marry a local nobleman who is twice her senior and extremely abusive. After his untimely death, Gabrielle moves to Paris, and we follow not only her story, but part of the story of the French Revolution.

I don't want to tell you anymore of the plot, so as not to give away the ending, but I will say that there a bunch of ups and downs in this story. Gabrielle is arrested several times for the crime of being "nobility," knowing someone who did something to offend the revolutionists, etc. The author, Catherine Delors, does an excellent job of conveying the uncertainty of that era. She also does an excellent job of showing how people change, re-think what they believe about morality, and generally change based on their own experience.

That being said, I wish that there were not so many historical details in the novel. At times the novel moved a bit slowly and that was due to the plethora of historical factoids inserted into the text. While history and details are entirely important in historical fiction, there is generally a way to put those in without being so bland about it.

Despite that, this is a wonderful first novel, and the slow parts weren't enough to make me put the book down for long. A little patience in the first few chapters is rewarded with a tale of love, tension, uncertainty, and courage. If you are a fan of historical fiction, this is a wonderful novel for you to read. Be warned: although there are many facts in this novel, we do only get Gabrielle's perspective of the revolution. But her perspective makes for a great story.

So, how can you win this lovely novel?

Mandatory Entry:
Leave a comment below telling something good you've read recently.

Extra Entries {leave a comment for each, below}:
Follow me via Google Friend Connect
Follow me via Twitter: @AdvntrsNFlpFlps
Tweet/blog/post on Facebook about this giveaway. Feel free to use this: I just entered to win Mistress of the Revolution by Catherine Delors on AdvntrsNFlpFlps' blog!

Good luck!

Also, did you know that Gussy is giving away FOUR of her headbands? Are you serious?!

1 comment:

  1. Hey Lauren! I'm so glad you finally reviewed this book- I'd still love to read it, even though it has a lot of extraneous detail. I just finished reading Cocktail Hour under the Tree of Forgetfulness by Alexandra Fuller. It's a sequel to Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight and it's absolutely gorgeous.