IN THE SHADOW OF A QUEEN, by Heather B. Moore, Shadow Mountain, Oct. 4, 2022, Hardcover, $26.99 (young adult/ new adult/ adult fiction)
In the Shadow of a Queen, by Heather B. Moore, follows one of Queen Victoria’s daughters as she strives to be true to herself and to the crown.
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. —Synopsis provided by Shadow Mountain.
Based on a true events, In the Shadow of a Queen is a captivating story of two women — Princess Louise and her mother, Queen Victoria. Though fictionalized, author Heather B. Moore bases her story on notable research, journals and letters. She includes chapter notes and a selected biography, which provide additional details.
From the first page, Moore captures the essence of both these women — though Queen Victoria to a lesser degree.
Constrained by her title, Louise dreams of something more. She not only believes she is capable, but that she deserves to be thought of as more than just a wife and mother.
Queen Victoria is dedicated to the crown and the memory of her late husband. Though she herself is in a position of power, she adamantly disagrees with women’s suffrage.
And yet, Queen Victoria wants Louise to be happy. She wants her to live a fulfilled life (even while in service to the crown).
The two battle it out in a complex dance that balances trust, duty and love.
All of this plays out through Moore’s deft hand. Her prose is warm and modernly welcoming while still retaining the feel of the Victorian era. Moore’s transitions through time and place are smooth and well-placed.
In the Shadow of a Queen is a compelling read that you won’t want to put down.
*Though not written specifically for a young adult audience, there’s nothing objectionable in In the Shadow of a Queen. And it should appeal to teen readers who enjoy Shadow Mountain’s Proper Romance series.
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