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The Confessions of Catherine de Medici by C.W. Gortner

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Teresa's Reading Corner: The Confessions of Catherine de Medici by C.W. Gortner

Monday, June 21, 2010

The Confessions of Catherine de Medici by C.W. Gortner

Synopsis from Goodreads:  The truth is, none of us are innocent. We all have sins to confess.

So reveals Catherine de Medici in this brilliantly imagined novel about one of history’s most powerful and controversial women. To some she was the ruthless queen who led France into an era of savage violence. To others she was the passionate savior of the French monarchy. Acclaimed author C. W. Gortner brings Catherine to life in her own voice, allowing us to enter into the intimate world of a woman whose determination to protect her family’s throne and realm plunged her into a lethal struggle for power.

 The last legitimate descendant of the illustrious Medici line, Catherine suffers the expulsion of her family from her native Florence and narrowly escapes death at the hands of an enraged mob. While still a teenager, she is betrothed to Henri, son of François I of France, and sent from Italy to an unfamiliar realm where she is overshadowed and humiliated by her husband’s lifelong mistress. Ever resilient, Catherine strives to create a role for herself through her patronage of the famous clairvoyant Nostradamus and her own innate gift as a seer. But in her fortieth year, Catherine is widowed, left alone with six young children as regent of a kingdom torn apart by religious discord and the ambitions of a treacherous nobility.

Relying on her tenacity, wit, and uncanny gift for compromise, Catherine seizes power, intent on securing the throne for her sons. She allies herself with the enigmatic Protestant leader Coligny, with whom she shares an intimate secret, and implacably carves a path toward peace, unaware that her own dark fate looms before her—a fate that, if she is to save France, will demand the sacrifice of her ideals, her reputation, and the passion of her embattled heart.

From the fairy-tale châteaux of the Loire Valley to the battlefields of the wars of religion to the mob-filled streets of Paris, The Confessions of Catherine de Medici is the extraordinary untold journey of one of the most maligned and misunderstood women ever to be queen.

My thoughts:  "The truth is, none of us are innocent. We all have sins to confess.From that very first line I was hooked. Upon starting the book I was ignorant as to who Catherine de Medici was.   I was never one for history class, but if the information had been presented like this story, I might have been a history major in college.  I was fascinated by the characters and the story from beginning to end.

We meet Catherine as a child, experiencing a lifetime of joy and sorrow right along with her.   Since finishing the book I've found myself searching for more information on Catherine and her family. I was intrigued by the customs described and the idea of the "political" marriages that were arranged when the children were barely out of the womb.  As a mother,  I understood the fierceness of Catherine's emotions when it came to her children. As a wife I understood how she could love her husband despite his numerous faults.  As a woman, I understood how she was able to do what was needed just to get the job done.

This is one of those books that makes your think about it again and again.   It is a book worthy of passing on to your friends and family. I've already passed it on to my mother in law who plans on passing it on to her friends as well. I absolutely recommend that anyone who enjoys historical fiction pick this one up. 

Other Works by C.W. Gortner:

The Last Queen:Released May 5, 2009
The Tudor Secret Book I in the Elizabeth I Spymaster Chronicles: Tentative release date of January 2011.

Disclosure:  I received this book from the publicist in exchange for my honest review.  



At June 21, 2010 at 8:03 AM , Blogger Felicity Grace Terry said...

I love hisrorical novels, they are probabnly my favourite genre. Never having heard of this author, I'm glad to find some new books I think I'll enjoy. Thanks for a great review.

At June 21, 2010 at 8:28 AM , Blogger Emidy @ Une Parole said...

I really enjoy historical fiction, so I might give this a try! I'm just like you, though - in school history was always tedious, but it's so much more interesting when you read about it in books.

At June 21, 2010 at 8:42 AM , Blogger Teresa said...

You HAVE to pick this one up! It was fantastic.

At June 21, 2010 at 8:53 AM , Blogger Kristin said...

I am just getting into historical fiction myself and keep seeing this book around the blogosphere...I think I need to get it! Great review!

At June 21, 2010 at 9:09 AM , Blogger Jo-Jo said...

I know that I absolutely need to read this book. I'm glad you liked it!

At June 21, 2010 at 10:02 AM , Blogger Kathy said...

I posted a review of this great novel on my blog, too. I thought it was fantastic. I can't wait to read his others.

At June 21, 2010 at 10:12 AM , Blogger Cheryl said...

Thanks for the great review of Christopher's latest. I loved this one too. His earlier release "The Last Queen" is equally as wonderful.

If you visit Christopher's website at you can read an excerpt from the book and view a video trailer.

Thanks again.


At June 21, 2010 at 10:31 AM , Blogger toothybooks said...

great review! i admit i'm not into history either although i do enjoy reading historical fiction from time to time. the review of this book definitely captured my attention and i'm adding it to my tbr.

At June 21, 2010 at 3:41 PM , Blogger Beth(bookaholicmom) said...

I do enjoy reading historical fiction once in awhile so I will definitely pick this one up. Thanks for the great review!

At June 21, 2010 at 7:46 PM , Blogger C.W. Gortner said...

Thank you for this incredible review! I'm so delighted that you enjoyed Catherine de Medici's story and I hope your readers will, too.

Warm regards, C.W.

At June 22, 2010 at 12:05 AM , Blogger Julie P said...

Great review! I am going to add this one to my TBR list....

At June 22, 2010 at 9:09 AM , Blogger Tales of Whimsy said...

Sounds excellent. I love your review.


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