The Sisters of Versailles (Mistresses of Versailles, Book One) by Sally ChristiePublication Date: September 1, 2015 Publisher: Atria Books/Simon & Schuster Formats: Ebook, Paperback Pages: 432 ISBN-10: 1501102966 Genre: Historical Fiction READ AN EXCERPT.
A sumptuous and sensual tale of power, romance, family, and betrayal centered around four sisters and one King. Carefully researched and ornately detailed, The Sisters of Versailles is the first book in an exciting new historical fiction trilogy about King Louis XV, France's most "well-beloved" monarch, and the women who shared his heart and his bed. Goodness, but sisters are a thing to fear. Set against the lavish backdrop of the French Court in the early years of the 18th century, The Sisters of Versailles is the extraordinary tale of the five Nesle sisters: Louise, Pauline, Diane, Hortense, and Marie-Anne, four of whom became mistresses to King Louis XV. Their scandalous story is stranger than fiction but true in every shocking, amusing, and heartbreaking detail. Court intriguers are beginning to sense that young King Louis XV, after seven years of marriage, is tiring of his Polish wife. The race is on to find a mistress for the royal bed as various factions put their best foot - and women - forward. The King's scheming ministers push Louise, the eldest of the aristocratic Nesle sisters, into the arms of the King. Over the following decade, the four sisters:sweet, naive Louise; ambitious Pauline; complacent Diane, and cunning Marie Anne, will conspire, betray, suffer, and triumph in a desperate fight for both love and power. In the tradition of The Other Boleyn Girl, The Sisters of Versailles is a clever, intelligent, and absorbing novel that historical fiction fans will devour. Based on meticulous research on a group of women never before written about in English, Sally Christie's stunning debut is a complex exploration of power and sisterhood; of the admiration, competition, and even hatred that can coexist within a family when the stakes are high enough.
ADVANCE PRAISE"A stunning breadth of period detail, offered in a fresh, contemporary voice." Juliet Grey, author of the acclaimed Marie Antoinette trilogy
"Sally Christie's The Sisters of Versailles is an intriguing romp through Louis XV's France. Filled with lush backdrops, rich detail, and colorful characters, fans of historical fiction will enjoy this glimpse into the lost golden era of the French monarchy." Allison Pataki, author of The Accidental Empress
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Fascinating and uniquely compelling novel.. The story of Louis XV of France and his love affair with 4/5 sisters. All women of the Mailly-Nestle family. Each woman very different and unique in her own right. Louis, himself, I found to be weak and malleable. Was he really this arrogant and childish? Probably. The women, first Louise. A genuinely sweet, simple young woman who truly loved Louis. She was ultimately pushed aside. Next was Pauline. Vulgar and Vile...I can't say too much about Pauline, but even her sisters refer to her as 'the ugly one'. Next up Marie-Anne. A snake...no other words describe this evil woman. She is hateful, vindictive and just nasty. Diane is simple. Sweet, gentle..A poor soul pulled into the decadence of Versailles against her better judgement. Only pious, self righteous Hortense escapes the bed of Louis.
This is a fantastic book to read. I couldn't put it down. I found each character incredible. Some I loved, some not so much. These sisters were part of Louis' life prior to the famous Madame de Pompadour. I have a hard time keeping the Louis' straight. I find French monarchic history difficult to follow. Sally Christie does a wonderful job recreating French life during the years of Louis' reign. (prior to Marie Antoinette and the french revolution but after the famous SunKing.).
Fantastic book. I loved it and highly recommend it for a fun end of summer read!