Friday, July 31, 2015

Review: Sally Christie's "The Sisters of Versailles"

Hello dear readers!

Today I bring you a review of Sally Christie's upcoming novel, "The Sisters of Versailles". I was immediately excited upon sighting the novel on Netgalley and I was not disappointed. Christie explores the previously neglected reign of Louis XV and the result is nothing short of page turning.

This fascinating fictional (but still accurate) account takes on the lives of the notorious Mailly-Nesle. The five sisters--Louise, Pauline, Diane, Hortense, and Marie-Anne were brought up in the shadow of Versailles and expected to marry well. Instead, four of them become royal mistresses. Louise is the first to go to Versailles and capture the heart of King Louis VX. Naive and pure of heart, Louise is Louis's first documented mistress, but her unaffected ways and sweet spirit are overthrown by the arrival of Pauline. Described in the novel as "a force of nature", Pauline is determined to seduce the king and make a name for herself. The two sisters co-exist in a strange menage trois until Pauline's death leaves a void. Then Diane, Hortense, and Marie-Anne arrive on the scene, but it is the youngest Mailly-Nesle sister who impacts the king in ways previously not seen. Marie-Anne is determined to use her position to live the good life, but there are always sacrifices and consequences.

Louis XV's fascination with the Mailly-Nesle sisters was certainly a unique situation and one that has been surprisingly unexplored in the past. Sally Christie brings all five sisters to life, alternating each chapter with a new voice and view. The fact that each sister's voice is distinct is clear evidence of Christie's talents as a writer. The reader in turns will find themselves laughing with, rolling their eyes at, or downright hating the sisters. This lovely novel is not to be missed! There were many nights that I stayed awake long past my bedtime because I didn't want to put it down. It hits bookshelves on September 1, 2015 and can be pre-ordered through Amazon.

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