A Brand New Novel
Josephine Baker, the early-20th-century African-American dancer, comic, and singer–hugely famous in Paris. Did you know that she was also a spy for the French Resistance during WWII?
“Jones’s excellent new historical…”
That’s all I could see of the new Publishers Weekly review coming out Monday, Aug. 6., as displayed in my Google Alert. My pulse gave a little skip. Like a dog on point, as the cashier before me chatted very pleasantly about her former life in Bosnia, I focused only on the little screen in my hand. When I’d read the review, I looked about for someone to tell. The cashier was still there, smiling.
As sweetly as she congratulated me, I also knew that she couldn’t really appreciate what this means. Publishers Weekly, I told my boyfriend, is like the Rolling Stone of the publishing world. (“I hope it’s better than that,” he said, classical musician that he is. :))
At any rate, I’m sharing it now because you, dear reader, certainly understand how gratifying and, yes, validating, it was for me to read this review:
“Jones’s excellent new historical (after the prequel, White Heart) reimagines the world of 13th-century Europe and the dramatic true story of four sisters who each became queens. Their influential mother, Beatrice of Savoy and countess of Provence, arranges even before the girls’ births to wed them to powerful men in an effort to ensure the safety of her beloved homeland, which has long been the object of desire of warring parties. Marguerite marries King Louis IX of France, Eléonore weds Henry III of England, Sanchia becomes Queen of the Romans, and Beatrice assumes the crown as Queen of Sicily. Though their mother is thrilled to see her plans come to fruition, the new queens soon become mired in turmoil. Marguerite suffers under her overbearing mother-in-law, the White Queen; Eléonore is roundly disliked by her countrymen; Sanchia is frequently misled by her naiveté; and Beatrice grows into a power-hungry villain. As the young sisters desperately try to maintain ties to one another, the political agendas of their new homes threaten to undermine the bonds of family. Jones’s impeccable eye for detail and beautifully layered plot–each sister narrates her side of the story in alternating chapters–makes this not only a standout historical, but an impressive novel in its own right, regardless of genre.”
Whew! Thanks for being there. You may have just stopped me from bursting into flame. 😀