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"Courtesan" by Diane Haeger

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SonjaMarie
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"Courtesan" by Diane Haeger

Post by SonjaMarie » Mon October 6th, 2008, 4:08 am

I'm not good at writing reviews, so be kind please and maybe give me some pointers if I didn't do a good job!

"Courtesan" by Diane Haeger, 565 pages.

This book is about Diane de Poitiers and her amazing love story with Henri II of France. A love affair that started when she was 31 (she was actually 35 in real life) and the prince, the 2nd son of Francois I, was 14.

Henri was a lonely and angry young man who had been imprisoned by Emperor Charles of Spain with his brother the Dauphin in the place of their father after defeat in war. He despises his father and other then a small group of friends, he hates pretty much everyone. Diane was a widower returning to Court after 5 years and has caught the eye of Francois and the hatred of his favourite, Anne D'Heilly.

Henri changes under the care of Diane, who has no thoughts of romance just of friendship, but he starts to become obsessed with her and soon she falls in love with him. He wants to marry her but she is not an appropriate choice as a wife for a son of King of France, therefore he is forced to marry Catherine de'Medici. Francois and Anne do everything they can to drive Diane from the Court, but for the love she bears for Henri, nothing can force her to leave and endures all the crap aimed at her way.

In 1536 tragedy strikes Francois I with the death of his favorite son, the Dauphin, and the son he hates Henri becomes heir to the throne. Henri is not the ideal heir and refuses to sleep with his wife to produce his own heir. The relationship between him and Diane is scandalous to the Court but despite the obstacles their love deepens and defies all odds. It's also up to Diane to get Henri to give Catherine heirs though he despises his wife, who in turns hates Diane with a passion.

Once Henri finally becomes king, he does all he can to show France how much he loves Diane, and Catherine continues to "hate and wait" for the time Henri will be hers and hers alone.

Unfortunately for all a tragedy, that Catherine's astrologist Gauier and the famous Nostradamus have predicted, is coming to change the course of history and there's nothing anyone can do to stop it.

I enjoyed this book though I found it to be a bit on the long side and drags now then.

SM
Last edited by SonjaMarie on Mon October 6th, 2008, 4:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by diamondlil » Mon October 6th, 2008, 9:14 am

You did fine Sonja Marie. I am looking forward to the next one!
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Tanzanite
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Post by Tanzanite » Mon October 6th, 2008, 1:13 pm

Great reveiw Sonja! I read this last year and enjoyed it very much. Even though these days the differences in their ages would give me the creeps, their story really is quite beautiful.

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SonjaMarie
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Post by SonjaMarie » Mon October 6th, 2008, 4:45 pm

Thanks! I'm always afraid of giving too much away or not saying enough. I probably left a few things out I could've mentioned but oh well.

SM
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Misfit
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Post by Misfit » Mon October 6th, 2008, 6:11 pm

You did just fine. I just cringe when I go back and look at my earliest reviews on Amazon and I've actually deleted some. As for trying not to tell too much or too little, you'll never please them all. Some people like reviews with a lot of info and others don't. I always thought I was one of those who didn't tell too much and then I got a comment one day at Amazon that I was just a bit too much in the detail department. Oh well.

I read another of Haeger's books and wasn't all that impressed. Of course, that was during my week of jury duty and not many books survived unscathed :o :p

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Post by tsjmom » Wed December 24th, 2008, 4:23 pm

I really enjoyed this book. I visited Chenonceaux a few years ago, and it was lovely. I can picture the door Diane would go out for her daily swims in the Cher. It's surprising that given what Henri IV means to the French and the excitement revolving around this famed love triangle that there isn't more HF written about this time period.

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