White Queen by Philippa Gregory
Gregory is known as queen of historical fiction about the Tudor dynasty, but in this series she takes up the Plantagenets in the middle of the War of the Roses. Our White queen is the beautiful and ambitious Elizabeth Woodville Grey, who has recently been widowed when her husband was fighting again the current King of England. Despite her family’s Lancaster loyalties, she stands in the road the that same king passes through her country town, hoping to get her husband’s lands back from one of the king’s cohorts. Imagine her luck when the handsome young king falls for her beauty and begins to secretly woo her! As Elizabeth rises to power at the side of her king, her ambition eclipses everything else. She wants her entire family to benefit from her position, and is not hesitant to give them land, titles and marriages that help the crown as well as the individual.
This book is an enjoyable journey into the behind-the-scenes plotting and machinations of the British royalty. While I found Elizabeth’s voice to be somewhat stilted, it did not stop me from devouring the book, hoping that she and her family would prevail over their many enemies. I highly recommend this to fans of historical fiction, regular readers of Philippa Gregory and students who enjoyed the movie The Other Boleyn Girl, whose original book was also written by Gregory.