September 1, 2015

The Sisters of Versailles by Sally Christie - Review, Guest Post and Giveaway

sisters of versailles

 Published: September 1, 2015 
Number of pages: 432 pages 
Genre: Historical Fiction
Series: The Mistresses of Versailles #1

A sumptuous and sensual tale of power, romance, family, and betrayal centered around four sisters and one King. Carefully researched and ornately detailed, The Sisters of Versailles is the first book in an exciting new historical fiction trilogy about King Louis XV, 

France’s most “well-beloved” monarch, and the women who shared his heart and his bed. Set against the lavish backdrop of the French Court in the early years of the 18th century, 

The Sisters of Versailles is the extraordinary tale of the five Nesle sisters—Louise, Pauline, Diane, Hortense, and Marie-Anne—four of whom became mistresses to King Louis XV. Their scandalous story is stranger than fiction but true in every shocking, amusing, and heartbreaking detail. Court intriguers are beginning to sense that young King Louis XV, after seven years of marriage, is tiring of his Polish wife. The race is on to find a mistress for the royal bed as various factions put their best feet—and women—forward. The King’s scheming ministers push Louise, the eldest of the aristocratic Nesle sisters, into the arms of the King. Over the following decade, she and her sisters—ambitious Pauline; complacent Diane, and cunning Marie Anne—will conspire, betray, suffer, and triumph in a desperate fight for both love and power. 

The Sisters of Versailles is a treat through and through – the characters are witty and engaging and come together to create an undeniable page-turner. Sally Christie has a wonderful sense of pace and the book unfolds in front of you like a delicious gift. Even as the scandals pile up and the intrigue mounts, you can’t help but fall in love with these sisters and their competing infatuations with the King. 

In the tradition of The Other Boleyn Girl, The Sisters of Versailles is a clever, intelligent, and absorbing novel that historical fiction fans will devour. 

Based on meticulous research on a group of women never before written about in English, Sally Christie’s stunning debut is a complex exploration of power and sisterhood—of the admiration, competition, and even hatred that can coexist within a family when the stakes are high enough. 

What did I think of this book:
This is the first book that I have read by this author and I have to say that I did enjoy this book. The author did a good job with her writing and made a real story come to life on the pages for me. You can really tell that the author did her research as it shows in the details of the story. One of my favorite parts was the letters that the sisters wrote to each other.  They made you feel as if you were one of them and were waiting for your next letter. You have five sisters and each of them have a different personality. There is Louise, Pauline, Diane, Hortense and Marie-Anne. Louise is in love with the queen but is niave about many thing, Pauline is not nice at all, Diane who seems to not be very smart, Hortense who was the only sister to not be a mistress to the King. Marie-Anne who is stuck on herself. I am not sure which sister I liked the best. This was a good start to a new series and I am looking forward to book 2. 

About the author:
Sally Christie was born in England of British parents and grew up around the world, attending eight schools in three languages. She spent most of her career working in international development and is currently settled in Toronto. A life-long history buff who wishes time travel were a real possibility —she’d be off to the eighteenth century in a flash! The Sisters of Versailles is her first novel. Learn more about the sisters and the mistresses in the Versailles trilogy on her website Become a fan to hear about her next novels! Check her Pinterest page

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Guest Post:
Infidelity in 18th century France

In 18th century France, morality and customs differed greatly depending on social class and marital status. For the high nobles at Versailles that I write about in my book The Sisters of Versailles, affairs after marriage were very common and little remarked upon.

One anecdote has a duke finding his wife with her lover. He is reputed to have said: “Madame, is this prudent? Supposing someone else had found you?” Another noble told his wife on their wedding day: “Madame, I allow you every latitude except footmen and Princes of the Blood.” (I’m not sure why he singled out footmen and those Princes as off limits!).

For most members of the high nobility, their marriages were always arranged by families and personal feelings played little to no part in the selection of the spouse. Perhaps the rampant infidelity amongst the nobles of Versailles was compensation for the lack of love within their marriages. Further down the social scale, where people had more choice in whom they married, affairs were generally frowned upon and fidelity was expected (at least from the women).

The situation for unmarried girls was very different. Most aristocratic girls were educated at convents and were very sheltered and strictly guarded; remaining chaste before marriage was an absolute must. Occasionally – though only very occasionally, and certainly not as often as novels might have us believe – a suitor was able to (figuratively) scale the convent walls and carry off his bride, but the dangers were immense. During the time period of my novel The Sisters of Versailles (early 18th century), there was a great scandal when a young noble girl, the Demoiselle de Moras, eloped with a certain Monsieur de Rochecourbon. The couple left France and fled to Belgium and even though they married, Rochecourbon was tried in absentia and sentenced to death! Heed that, ye would be abductors.

Eventually the marriage was annulled and Mademoiselle de Moras returned and despite her notoriety married again. M de Rochecourbon very prudently stayed out of France for the remainder of his life.  

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1 comment:

  1. thanks for your nice review. I am also looking forward to books 2 and 3! Emma at FBT