Guenevere Book Review

First of all, I’m sorry I’ve been so random in my posts the last few weeks.  Things have been getting a little crazy, but I am really going to try to be more consistent now.  🙂

The Queen

Just like most of the gullible romantics around the US this morning, I’m barely awake, on my 4th or 38th cup of coffee, and just cannot stop smiling after watching the wedding of William and Kate.  Granted I’m not one who’s particularly interested in the workings of the Royal Family, but I don’t know how anyone could not fall in love with Kate Middleton.  Seriously.  First of all, she’s stunning…she has the most beautiful smile, and just seems like the most genuine person (if she’s not, I don’t want to know).  In light of what’s been happening all over the world, it seems like this wedding was the morale booster we all needed.  Should she become Queen, it seems that Kate would be “a Queen for the people”, a potential protege of the beloved Queen Victoria…and perhaps likened in beauty to one Queen Quenevere who, although fictional, still holds a powerful position in British literature, folklore, myth, and legend.

When she met a young man named Arthur who was destined to be king, Quenevere was simply smitten with him.  After the very recent death of her mother and the overwhelming responsibility to take her crown as Queen of the Summer Country, Quenevere found stability in Arthur…comfort in his firm stance, passion in his tender hands and loving heart.  He loved her wholly and completely and would stop and nothing to win her affections…that is until infidelity got the best of BOTH of them.

In this first book of a trilogy of novels chronicling the life of Queen Guenevere, Rosalind Miles attempts to tell this legendary story of love and passion through the voice of the woman who was “the center of the storm”.  Guenevere:  Queen of the Summer Country is a romantic and heart-wrenching narrative, complete with all the pageantry, politics, war, lust, love, and conflict the Brits so gallantly require in their legends.  Miles does a great job giving these characters flesh and blood, a heart and a soul.  These are not the simple archetypes of the King Arthur legends.  This story has great depth and respect for these influential players who have helped build the foundation of British literature.

Guenevere:  Queen of the Summer Country is not a challenging read.  Having knowledge of the King Arthur legends, I found myself developing a sense of respect and understanding for Guenevere, but even if you have no knowledge of this “fictional history”, there’s no need to take a crash course before jumping into this book.  It’s very easy to follow and understand.  I have not read the other two books in the trilogy, only because I found that this one stood quite well on its own.  I didn’t feel a need to dive into her story any further, but if the other two books are anything like this one, I’m sure they would be enjoyable (anyone wanting more dirt and Guenevere and Lancelot might want to invest in at least the first 2 books…).

NEXT WEEK:  Next Sunday is Yom HaShoah, or The Day of Remembrance…a day to commemorate those millions and millions of people killed in the Holocaust.  Next week will be spent honoring those who perished and hopefully giving hope that we as a people will continue to heal and grow.

Looking for a new book to read? Check in every Friday for a “Bee Happy” post, where I share reviews of books I’ve read or other book-themed lists.

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