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In the Shadow of a Queen by Heather B. Moore: A Book Review

In the Shadow of a Queen
Author: Heather B. Moore
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher: Shadow Mountain
Release Date: 2022
Pages: 384
Source: Netgalley/Publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis: Based on the true story of the free-spirited daughter of Queen Victoria.


     Princess Louise’s life is upended after her father’s untimely death. Captive to the queen’s overwhelming mourning, Louise is forbidden to leave her mother’s tight circle of control and is eventually relegated to the position of personal secretary to her mother―the same position each of her sisters held until they were married.


     Already an accomplished painter, Louise risks the queen’s wrath by exploring the art of sculpting, an activity viewed as unbefitting a woman. When Louise involves herself in the day’s political matters, including championing the career of a female doctor and communicating with suffragettes, the queen lays down the law to stop her and devotes her full energy to finding an acceptable match for her defiant daughter.


     Louise is considered the most beautiful and talented daughter of Queen Victoria, but finding a match for the princess is no easy feat. Protocols are broken, and Louise exerts her own will as she tries to find an open-minded husband who will support her free spirit.


     In the Shadow of a Queen is the story of a battle of wills between two women: a daughter determined to forge her own life beyond the shadow of her mother, and a queen resolved to keep the Crown’s reputation unsullied no matter the cost.


     My Review: Princess Louise has been infamous for being Queen Victoria’s rebellious daughter. She had many scandals surrounding her including her liaisons, her career as an artist, and marrying a commoner. In the Shadow of a Queen tells the early years of Princess Louise. Princess Louise was meant to become a dutiful princess and marry a royal. However, Princess Louise wanted to become a successful artist and marry for love.


     Princess Louise is a very sympathetic figure. She lost her father at a young age. Her mother is very domineering and wants Louise to fulfill her expectations. However, Louise is a very strong woman. She fights hard to fulfill her own dreams. Thus, Princess Louise is a very hard worker who works tirelessly to pursue her passion for art. She is also very rebellious and defies her duties as a royal. Therefore, I emphasized with Louise as she struggled to find her own happiness. Thus, Princess Louise is a very captivating heroine.


     Overall, this novel is about family, choices, and love. I found all the characters to be very fascinating. I like how the author inserts Princess Louise’s diaries into the story. I also like how a portion of the novel focuses on Princess Louise’s teenage years. It fully fleshed out her character and gave a better understanding of how she made her decisions as an adult. The story is well-written and is meticulously researched. It seems like an intimate look not only at Princess Louise but also the royal family. The only thing I did not like about this book is that it has some slow parts. Nevertheless, this is a very engrossing and compelling read! I found Princess Louise’s story so engrossing that I read it one sitting. This novel is a must-read for fans of royalty. I recommend this novel for those who love Victoria, My Name is Victoria, and My Dearest, Dearest Albert! In the Shadow of a Queen is an enchanting tribute to Queen Victoria’s most free-spirited daughter.


Rating: 4 out of 5 stars


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