While my expertise is in how-to and nonfiction books, every once in a while I like to curl up with a good novel. Since I don’t get to read much fiction, I’m very picky. The Courtier’s Secret makes the grade: a fascinating and fastidiously researched account of life in Versailles in 1682, it has all the makings of a great read–a powerful heroine, spellbinding plot and great storytelling.
While the title and cover might make you think you’re getting a harlequin romance, the old adage about books and their covers applies here. The writing, meticulous research and recreation of 17th century Versailles, and transcendence of our heroine, Jeanne Yvette Mas du Bois, create a rich tapestry.
Our heroine, Jeanne, finds an antidote to the boredom of a courtier’s life in fencing, secretly, with her uncle and soon finds herself dressing in men’s garb and secretly joining the Musketeers. Donna Russo Morin must have been a female musketeer in her past life. The way she recreates a courtier’s life in Versaille under the reign of the sun king makes the whole lifestyle come alive–the extreme oppulence juxtaposed by the intense boredom of those of King Louis’ court.
The Courtier’s Secret is one of those books you just know is going to hit the silver screen. I’m picturing Johnny Depp as the Sun King and Kira Knightly as Jeanne.Looking for a pageturner to take on your next vacation or business trip? Here it is.