I’ve always been a Daisy Goodwin fan. She seems to get right into the heart of history and make herself at home. As a writer who has dabbled in the historical genre, I can confirm that it’s not an easy thing to pull off.
Daisy does it, and she did it again with Victoria.
Unfortunately, lots of reviewers seem to be having “meh” responses to it, and for the worst reason: It’s “too much like the new BBC series.”
Y’all, she’s the creator of the show. She wrote it. She’s currently writing series 2. Why on earth would you knock of points on a book review over the fact that it’s just like the TV show?!
Sorry, rant over. Back to the real review.
Victoria starts with a little prelude into her life before becoming queen. We see just how messed up Conrad –– her mother’s “special friend”–– is, and how little Victoria knows about real life.
We then get to watch her become a queen, and it’s not an easy ride. I didn’t know that Victoria was so, well, easygoing. But Goodwin brought that out beautifully. She makes the reader feel connected to a historical figure that should have no real similarities to us at all.
This part is historically inaccurate, but kind of fun: Poor Lord Melbourne has to deal with the worst kind of heartbreak on the planet. I don’t want to give away any spoilers here, and fair warning that some readers may not be happy with the liberties Goodwin took in stretching the truth. The takeaway is that Lord Melbourne > Mr. Darcy. Sorry, not sorry.
Also, not a huge fan of Albert. I’m so curious to learn more about him, because I hadn’t known that he was such a giant bum. I mean, yes, we knew he was generally a serious man. But Goodwin made him out to be one of the most socially inept, rudest guys I’ve read about in years. Takeaway: Albert is worse than Mr. Darcy.
Victoria has some spunk to her, but Goodwin doesn’t shy away from showing just how spoiled she is. I’m so glad she does this, and makes it clear to the reader that Victoria was raised to be this way. We see Victoria changing in subtle, real ways throughout the first year of her rule.
I’m excited to get back into the series and watch the book on-screen. Because that’s what it was meant to be. Book-to-screen, dammit. Slightly fictional, but nothing wrong with that at all.