Tuesday, December 6

Book Review: The Memoirs of Mary Queen of Scots

Author: Carolly Erickson
Title: The Memoirs of Mary Queen of Scots
Genre: Historical Fiction, Action, Drama
Pages: 336 
First Published: 2009
Where I Got It: Borrowed from Library

"In this dramatic, compelling fictional memoir Carolly Erickson lets the courageous, spirited Mary Queen of Scots tell her own storyand the result is a novel readers will long remember.
Born Queen of Scotland, married as a young girl to the invalid young King of France, Mary took the reins of the unruly kingdom of Scotland as a young widow and fought to keep her throne. A second marriage to her handsome but dissolute cousin Lord Darnley ended in murder and scandal, while a third marriage to the dashing, commanding Lord Bothwell, the love of her life, gave her joy but widened the scandal and surrounded her with enduring ill repute.
Unable to rise above the violence and disorder that swirled around her, Mary plucked up her courage and escaped to Englandonly to find herself a prisoner of her ruthless, merciless cousin Queen Elizabeth.
Here, in her own riveting account, is the enchanting woman whose name still evokes excitement and compassionand whose death under the headsman’s axe still draws forth our sorrow.
In The Memoirs of Mary Queen of Scots, Carolly Erickson provides another in her series of mesmerizing historical entertainments, and takes readers deep into the life and heart of the sixteenth century’s most fascinating woman."
Where to begin? 
I simply adore Carolly Erickson and her novels. I've read a good chunk of her novels and I've enjoyed all of them! I especially loved The Hidden Diary of Marie Antoinette. When I seen that she wrote a novel about Queen Mary of the Scots, I couldn't WAIT to read it! Even though Anne Boleyn and Elizabeth I are my favorites, I still love Mary. Yes...I'll admit it...I had high expectations and this book went flat with me.
I wish I could say that I "loved" this book as much as Carolly Erickson's other books, but I didn't. I didn't like it and I wished I never read it. Is that bad to say? I hated how Carolly Erickson presented Queen Mary. She presented her as a lovesick puppy, weak, whiney, and not a queen I would want to rule my country. I also felt VERY distant with Mary...it didn't feel like a "diary" or a "memoir"; like it should have felt like. 
IT IS a historical fiction and authors always put their own spin on the historical facts. And yes, Carolly Erickson was in all rights to put some twists and turns in Queen Mary's life, BUT some points in the story were in left field. Throughout the novel, I couldn't help but roll my eyes and chuckle. I did love the fact that she had Jamie (one of Mary's husbands) be a lovable hero, instead of the monster they make him out to be on many other books and movies. There were others historical twists/reinventions I liked and some I couldn't help but laugh at. 
I'm not sure what else to say...I didn't like this book at all. I could barely finish it. I still love Carolly Erickson and I plan to read her other novels, but if I could....I would not read this. This was a disappointment. However, I found it an interesting twist on Mary's story! Perhaps this wasn't my cup pf tea, but I don't let my negative views sway you away from this novel. Perhaps you'll love it! I recommend this to historical fiction lovers and for those that like a good shake-up on historical facts. I hate to do this buuuuut, I grant this one 1 star. =( The only things that saved this novel was the character Jamie and some historical reinventions that made me smile.

Favorite Character(s): Ummmm, Jamie and Grandmamma. 
Not-So Favorite Character(s): This version of Mary (I usually adore her, but...no)


Unknown said...

No one can say you aren't honest!!!

Blodeuedd said...

I can't say that I feel like reading this book at all ;) Not to mention it will end so bad too

Carole Rae said...

Allison, hahah, yeah...I'm pretty honest. I don't know if I should've buttered it up a little bit...buuuuut I couldn't do it.

Blodeuedd, you could try it and see ;D. It did end pretty bad. Poor chica. I was half expecting Carolly Erikson have Jamie jump up and save Mary...at that point I wouldn't have batted an eye.