Victoria, by Daisy Goodwin
Hardcover: 416 pages
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press; 1st edition (November 22, 2016)
Reading Sara Rating: 5/10
Reading Sara Review: For those of you who could not stop watching The Crown and love a period drama and historical fiction, you will probably enjoy Victoria too. Victoria was written by Daisy Goodwin, who also wrote the screenplay for the PBS show by the same name. Full disclosure: I read the book first. I liked the show better. Hence the mediocre book rating.
For those who are not intimately acquainted with England’s royal line, Victoria was queen at the age of 18, in 1837, and ruled until her death in 1901. Victoria became queen when her uncle died, as well as his siblings (including Victoria’s father, the Duke of Kent), all leaving no heirs. The book follows just her early days as being queen, trying to gain control out of her mother’s tightly controlled grasp, learn about politics, and her infatuation with her first Prime Minister.
I think the reason that the show was better, in my opinion, is that it simply moved faster. Victoria’s story is interesting in that she was young to the crown and seemingly not very prepared for it. But the show adds the right amount of drama and beautiful people to make the story come alive in an interesting way.
Summary: you can skip this book and just watch Victoria on PBS. The series ends pretty early on in her reign when she has her first child (she goes on to have 9 children, and reigns for over 63 years, so, if Goodwin wishes, there is probably a lot more material to cover!). So, whether you read the book or watch the show, I definitely recommend a glass of wine with it – because wine goes really well with historical fiction!
Wine Recommendation: In honor of Victoria’s German-born mother, I recommend a Reisling. Depending on your level of sweetness tolerability, I found this super helpful website that explains the labels of German Rieslings so that you can pick out exactly what you want! Now, grab a glass and sit back with this book – or tv show – and get lost in some wonderful dramatized historical fiction!