Empress Elizabeth of Austria, known as "Sisi", is the Princess Diana of 19th-century Europe. Famously beautiful, as captured in a portrait with diamond stars in her hair, she is unfulfilled in her marriage to the older Emperor Franz Joseph. Sisi has spent years evading the stifling formality of royal life on her private train or yacht or, whenever she can, on the back of a horse. Captain Bay Middleton is dashing, young, and the finest horseman in England. He is also impoverished, with no hope of buying the horse needed to win the Grand National - until he meets Charlotte Baird.
A clever, plainspoken heiress whose money gives her a choice among suitors, Charlotte falls in love with Bay, the first man to really notice her, for his vulnerability as well as his glamour. When Sisi joins the legendary hunt organized by Earl Spencer in England, Bay is asked to guide her on the treacherous course. Their shared passion for riding leads to an infatuation that threatens the growing bond between Bay and Charlotte, and all of their futures.
The Fortune Hunter, the brilliant new novel by Daisy Goodwin, is a lush, irresistible story of the public lives and private longings of grand historical figures.
©2014 Daisy Goodwin Productions (P)2014 Headline Digital
I enjoyed this book immensely. The story is interesting as a romance but the historical detail makes it so much more fascinating. The narrator if superb. If you like victorian romance you will love this.
I started out reading the print edition but couldn't find the time to just sit and read so I used a credit. So glad I did as the narration increased my enjoyment of this surprisingly quiet historical novel. For me it seemed the pace picked up a bit in the second half of the novel and I was quite happy to listen for large chunks of time.
Especially appreciated is the author interview at the end. Very interesting.
Life long compulsive reader & lover of recorded books
I would recommend this book to any Anglophile who would enjoy a little bit of romance and intrigue, a dash of court gossip, and a mousy but plucky heiress . Beautiful Sissy, Empress of Austria and a dashing Cavalry Officer are also involved in this very entertaining and well written book.
The main characters were well developed and multidimensional. The story keeps on moving. Perhaps there are no major surprises but the author manages to keep us turning the page.
The narrator managed to make the three main characters very distinct. I enjoyed the dialogue, which is important to this story and an enjoyable part of it
"The Empress, the officer and the mouse that roared"
Although there are a number of characters in this book based on well known historical figures, I did not approach this book as historical fiction. The facts are bent to suit the narrative, which is OK as long as the reader does not expect otherwise.
4 and half hours into this book and still nothing interesting had happened, it's a shame too because I love the narrator but even she couldn't make this interesting. I love historical fiction and had listened to another book by this author years ago that I had enjoyed so I thought I'd try this one, very disappointed.
I decided to use my time being laid up to get smarter! In 18 months I've listened to over 200 books, mostly history, literature & biography.
The protagonist is an 1870s heiress who takes photographs of elite groups as record of entertainment in "season." She then plays with the results in her darkroom, changing the human faces into animals just for fun. The characters are the kind you miss when it's over.
It was just an okay story nothing extraordinary really. I have doubt that Empress Elizabeth was an adulteress. The historical facts are not accurate at all and for most is quite fictional. Nonetheless, the story remained descent but with so many inconsistencies in relation to the whereabouts of the main characters. The book was relating a lot promiscuity and indecency and shed light on a glorious aristocracy with their many flaws. Unfortunately, Charlotte Baird naive side was very much annoying and she looked foolish throughout the book.
Well, that I would say yes and no...it all depends on the person's view of adulterous romance and mainly based on deceit and lies.
The entrance of the Empress at Melton to observe the naive Charlotte and how she confronted both protagonists (Bay Middleton) in a daring way. Also the confrontation with Queen Victoria...Well, they are Empresses after all!
None really but Augusta was quite something. I think each character had their moments. I would say the Empress as well who is very much willing to break all conventions to live her forbidden love. Also the fact that Sissy really raised her voice no matter the circumstances which requires requires great control of oneself...
The narration was quite superb and theatrical, the very way a narration should be. I congratulate the narrator for their achievement, I don't think the book would have that much enjoyable without it. I had quite a laugh too several times throughout the book.
I wouldn't recommend this book. Far too little happened in the book. I never found myself wanting to pick it back up again. It finally got interesting near the end of the book.
I would not read another book by Goodwin based on her style of writing.
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