Three Sisters, Three Queens

Three Sisters, Three Queens
by Philippa Gregory
Levonn Publishing, Inc, Print
Simon & Schuster, Audio

Gregory’s decision to approach the lives of these three queens via Margaret Tudor, Queen of Scotland, was refreshing to say the least. Although there is not a great deal in the historical record of Margaret, let alone many existing official citations for Katherine of Aragon and Mary, Duchess of Suffolk, Gregory gleaned about as much as she possibly could. And that about ends the positive comments for this book.

This reviewer can only handle so much teenage angst from a 30-year-old woman: jealousy, pettiness, spitefulness, envy, peevishness, lust, sullenness, selfishness, and narcissism. Margaret was a very unsympathetic character which made the book seem long and tedious in and of itself, but what made it a true slog-fest was the repetitive use of the same phrases, the same story lines and the lack of any character development.

Pretty much every character was so one-dimensional they bordered on ridiculous (For example; Margaret’s obsession with precedence took away any viable chance that she could have been perceived as a strong, independent woman) and there was not a single protagonist to cheer on. Those that may have had redeeming qualities either died or were not portrayed beyond a brief appearance.

Lastly, since I was listening to the audio version, I did not have the luxury of skimming through passages and quite frankly, I had heard the word sister[s] employed so frequently and often so gratuitously, that this reviewer began to wonder if Gregory was paid every time she used the word. There was a definite need for closer editing.

Because I have met Philippa Gregory face-to-face and even exchanged an email string with her in the past, I hoped the book would improve and was disappointed when it did not. Look elsewhere for a better offering from this prolific and talented author.