Duchessina: A Novel of Catherine De’Medici by Carolyn Meyer

I’ve been really slow on posting the books that I’ve been reading on here. I don’t know if it’s just that I forget or I’m just that lazy. Probably the later. I read this about a week or two ago, so I don’t remember everything about it, but I’ll do my best.

The story follows Catherine as a young girl in Italy and through her traumatic life until she becomes Queen of England.

I really like these kinds of stories, because it lets the author and reader make up a story from what little is known in history about famous historical figures. This story in particular was a very sad one. Catherine went through so much pain and suffering and never once did she have complete happiness. For someone to live their entire lives unhappy or at least just content makes me sad. She grew up without parents and was under the popes rule her entire life. The pope decided what her life was going to be like and in the end chose her husband for her even though neither of them had met or ever loved each other.

Catherine did have a love, her cousin Ippolito, but once the pope found out that there was an attraction there, he made Ippolito a cardinal so that they could not be together. Sadly, Ippolito died before they could reunite later in life when they were older.

Catherine then was married of to Prince Henry I, who later became King Henry I. Henry was in love with an older widow and never displayed any sort of caring emotion towards Catherine. The only reason he would come to her bed some nights was because he was made to by either his father or the widow herself. Catherine did give him children and most importantly she gave him sons.

I really enjoyed this read, even though it was sad at times. It was well written and really made you feel for Catherine and all the hardships. Carolyn Meyer writes a lot of historical fiction for young adults and I am more than willing to pick up another one of them.

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