Saturday, February 2, 2008

Babes in History and Fiction: Part 1

I love reading about the lives women led in the past. Partly because it makes me glad I live now and partly to be proud of what my lady ancestors have accomplished. And, let's face it, fiction is way cooler than non-fiction for learning about the past. This series is to clue you in one some of my recent(ish) favorites.

Part 1: Poison by Katheryn Harrison
Spain is troubled by the threat of their unhealthy prince's death and Francisca's mother is hired as his wet nurse. The Itinquision abducts the irreligious and blasphemous in the middle of the night (leaving their shoes behind so everyone will have no doubt as to what happened), and Francisca's lover's shoes are left outside of her father's house, condemning her and the child for his disappearance.

Living in one world while dreaming of another, Francisca is always oblivious to her own doom until it comes to pass. But Princess Marie Louise is perfectly aware of her fate. Sent from France to wed Prince Carlos, Marie cannot adjust to the strangely religious gloom of the Spanish court and dreams of the Sun King's thousand orange trees when she lies dying, poisoned by an unknown enemy.

Poison examines the interweaving fates of these women as they suffer in a society they cannot adjust to. Francisca spends her last days being tortured for her mother's and lover's crimes as well as her own while Marie is destroyed by her one friend in the Spanish court. Full of drama, sex and crazy judgmental people, Poison will leave you gasping from the first page to the last.

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