My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Genre: Historical Fiction, YA
Publisher: Harcourt Children’s Books
There are no spoilers in this review.
Eliza dreams of being a playwright for the king’s theater, where she will be admired for her witty turns of phrase rather than her father’s wealth.
Beth is beautiful as the day but poor as a church mouse, so she must marry well, despite her love for her childhood sweetheart.
Zabby comes to England to further her scientific studies—and ends up saving the life of King Charles II. Soon her friendship with him becomes a dangerous, impossible obsession. Though she knows she should stay away from the young, handsome king, Charles has a new bride, Queen Catherine, and a queen needs ladies in waiting.
And so Zabby, Beth, and Eliza, three Elizabeths from very different walks of life, find themselves at the center of the most scandal-filled court that England has ever seen.
“Harcourt Children’s Books” and I need to sit down and have a discussion about what makes a “children’s book.” Yes, I understand that this is historical fiction, but if you’re selling something as Children’s or Teen’s I expect, as a teenager, to be comfortable reading it.
I was not.
Its been a while since I read a book with this much focus on sex and the general disgustingness of the court at the time. Yes, perhaps I should have been expecting it given that its set in the court of King Charles II, one of the most scandalous of English kings, but I didn’t because I thought it was for teens. I believe in freedom of reading, but I did lobby to have this removed from my shelves at my school. Yes you can read whatever you like at school, but there are rules about what can be provided, this is too much. (The issue with banning books is that states that they cannot be in the school at all, even if the student brought it in for person reading).
Putting aside my issues with the definition of “children’s books” aside, it was a pretty decent book. I’m not sure I would call it “realistic” because there were things that happened that I thought “hmm, I’m not sure that could really take place” but other than that it was pretty good and well written (and overall well-researched).
The girls were very diverse, at times too much so. To me, it almost seemed as though the author was attempting to put in the most diverse stereotypes of girls at that time that she could, rather than letting them form as unique entities.
If you’re not bothered by the sex then it may be worth the read. However, for me personally, I wouldn’t recommend this to a friend and I’m going to tell you that there are a lot of better books out there.