Sunday, June 10, 2012

The King's Concubine (Alice Perrers)

This is the story of Alice Perrers, infamous mistress to King Edward III of England.  The story is told from her point of view, first person, and covers her life from being a foundling raised in a stifling convent, to her escape as wife to the elderly Mr. Perrers, then her unfortunate return to the convent after his death. And of course, her fateful meeting with Queen Philippa and all the timeless drama that followed.
Being told from Alice's point of view, the reader begins to understand her behavior, which at the time was considered scandalous.  This novel asks the question, "Was she a gold-digging, unprincipled harlot, or was she simply doing what was best for the King, and England, and taking what she could along the way?" 
You must admit, she never left the King by choice.  Was that because she couldn't get anything if she wasn't there with him?  Or was it because she truly cared for the King?  Not only that, but what forces were pushing her to behave the way she did? 
This book answers those questions with much insight and poingnancy.  The story never stopped.  I was not bored for a moment, a page, a sentence.  What a life Alice lived!
I adore this book.  I adore this author. 
I definitely recommend this book.  The subject, the imagery, the dialogue, the drama made for an excellent read.

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