Image of The Confessions of Catherine de Medici: A Novel


Image of The Confessions of Catherine de Medici: A Novel

Gortner has reimagined the life of one of the most controversial women in history in a fresh, well-researched and powerful portrait of a queen and mother in the turbulent 1500s. With great sensitivity she gives readers a woman struggling to keep her children and country safe. Readers will come away with new ideas, and that’s just what historical fiction is supposed to do — open our eyes to new possibilities.

With a strong voice, Catherine explains that she is no different from others, “we all have sins to confess.” As a daughter of the fabled de Medici family, she has a role to fulfill, but is banned from her beloved Florence and nearly killed by an angry mob. As a young woman she is betrothed to Henri, heir to the French throne and sent to France where she is reviled as an interloper and must watch her husband cavort with his mistress daily. Catherine uses her gifts as a seer and patronage of Nostradamus as a means to gain respect. When Henri dies, she is left with a realm torn between church and state and six children to protect. She takes power as regent and begins walking the fine line between saving her children and losing her beliefs. (BALLANTINE, Jun., 400 pp., $25.00)
Reviewed by: 
Kathe Robin