Saturday, January 23, 2010

The Other Queen by Philippa Gregory

I checked this out as an audio book from my local library.

The Good: The book held quite true to what I do know about Mary Queen of Scots time in England. The trio of narrators enabled the reader to engage in the book from three points of view. First there was the lady of the house, Bess, who also acts as a representative of the rising mechant class. They rose from a combination of hard work and the fall of papal control in England. She was duplicitous and very aware of possesions. Then there was George, who as the Master of the house represents old money and a noble lineage dating back to William the Conquerer. He was consistent in his loyalty to the Queen of England and yet torn by his enamourment for the other queen. The third narrator was the other Queen herself, Mary Queen of Scots. She was raised in the courts of France as a Princess and has claims to the throne of England and Scotland. Yet, she is a prisoner to her cousin Elizabeth, conspirator in pursuit of the throne. Beloved by some and feared by others, she narrates moments of hope anddespair.

The Bad: I mighted have enjoyed reading the book, however as an audio book it was slow moving. It was comprised of  14 CD's with 70 minutes each. I could have done with about 4 CD's less worth of material. In fact I was dissapointed by the overall book. I have enjoyed other books by Philippa Gregory, so I truly believe that I would have liked it better as a read, than a listen.
Additionally, Bess was increasingly annoying as I listened to her issues over money and possessions. I desired being able to skim over her sections, but alas that is not possible in an audio book.

As an Audio book 2 out 5 stars. If you want to check out the book, read, don't listen.

This book is part of my Historical Fiction Challenge 2010


  1. I agree. I didn't really like The Other Queen as much as Gregory's other novels. I really enjoyed the White Queen, which I believe is her most recent. Have you read it? I highly recommend it. Oh, and thanks for commenting on my blog! :)

  2. I can't ever focus on audiobooks, but I really wish I could. It would make working out or cleaning the house much more fun!

    I have an award for you over at my blog!