In these private moments, the great men of France are revealed for what they really are: men. Avid and greedy and ruled by their passions and desires.
The last of the trilogy and yes you must read them in order. Do not skip, do not jump, start from the very beginning. History has not been kind to King Louis XV and rightfully so, but Christie with a stroke of her pen has brought him some humanity in the desires that consumed him and his monarchy. At the end of his reign and the death of his Queen, he has found a new mistress in Jeanne Becu.
The narration is done by two women who loved him greatly in spite of his sins. His daughter that fervently prayed for his redemption and repentance and Jeanne who loved him but also loved what he offered her. Coming from the commoners, Jeanne was always beautiful. Used by men to gain power by her beauty, she saw life as an opportunity. The attraction for King Louis was not just her beauty but also her spirit.
His daughter Madame Adelaide desiring her father repentance also desired a loving relationship with her father. Always wanting to please him and falling victim to the reality she created.
Written with wit and humor, the characters become likeable in their selfishness and humanity. Christie gave them sorrow for the lives that they each lived but also responsibility to what they ultimately destroyed. I don’t think I could have liked them any other way. I mourn that they could have been more if they were not driven by their own desires and deceit.
If you love historical fiction and some little spunk along the way, you will be thrilled with this.
A Special Thank You to Atria Books and Netgalley for the ARC and the opportunity to post an honest review.