I confess myself a little disappointed by this book. The disappointment is self-inflicted though, I should have known this book was nowhere near long enough to be about the entire reign of Victoria like I thought it was.
Daisy Goodwin’s novel takes the reader through approximately the first year-and-a-half of the young queen’a reign. We meet Alexandrina Victoria Saxe-Cogburg-Gotha and see her become Her Majesty the Queen of England. We see her deal with and try to avoid her over-bearing mother, the Duchess of Kent and her adviser Sir John Conroy. We follow as Victoria confides in her Prime Minister William Lamb, Viscount Melbourne and grows to feel more than just friendship for him. Finally, we watch as Victoria falls, reluctantly, in love with her cousin Albert.
Like I said, most of my disappointment stems from the fact that this book did not follow the entire reign of Victoria, but another wave of disappointment came from the book’s mundane quality. The story we get from Goodwin is fine. It’s decently researched and well-written, but it focuses on the daily life of the young queen, and only her daily life. There were so many historical happenings during her reign. Granted, there may not have been many during her first year, but I guess I was hoping that Goodwin’s story would stretch beyond Buckingham Palace.
The character of Victoria bothered me as well. That’s not Goodwin’s fault since the eighteen-year-old probably was the spoiled brat that she was portrayed as in the book. I guess I don’t like Victoria’s inconsistency. We see her fall for Lord Melbourne and see her subsequently get rejected by him. So, like any good stung teen, Victoria decides that she will reign like her glorious ancestor Elizabeth I and never marry. Then, in waltzes Albert to whom she proposes marriage. I find it hard to believe that after being so sure that she never wanted to marry, that she would suddenly fall for her cousin after only a week. For all I know, that’s how it really happened, but it made the end of the book feel rushed.
I’m glad I read it. I recommend to those who enjoy Historical Fiction.