The Sisters of Versailles

The Sisters of Versailles

A Novel

Book - 2015
Average Rating:
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"A sumptuous and sensual tale of power, romance, family, and betrayal centered around four sisters and one King. Carefully researched and ornately detailed, The Sisters of Versailles is the first book in an exciting new historical fiction trilogy about King Louis XV, France's most "well-beloved" monarch, and the women who shared his heart and his bed. Goodness, but sisters are a thing to fear. Set against the lavish backdrop of the French Court in the early years of the 18th century, The Sisters of Versailles is the extraordinary tale of the five Nesle sisters-- Louise, Pauline, Diane, Hortense, and Marie-Anne-- four of whom became mistresses to King Louis XV. Their scandalous story is stranger than fiction but true in every shocking, amusing, and heartbreaking detail. Court intriguers are beginning to sense that young King Louis XV, after seven years of marriage, is tiring of his Polish wife. The race is on to find a mistress for the royal bed as various factions put their best foot-- and women-- forward. The King's scheming ministers push Louise, the eldest of the aristocratic Nesle sisters, into the arms of the King. Over the following decade, the four sisters-- sweet, naive Louise; ambitious Pauline; complacent Diane, and cunning Marie Anne-- will conspire, betray, suffer, and triumph in a desperate fight for both love and power. In the tradition of The Other Boleyn Girl, The Sisters of Versailles is a clever, intelligent, and absorbing novel that historical fiction fans will devour. Based on meticulous research on a group of women never before written about in English, Sally Christie's stunning debut is a complex exploration of power and sisterhood-- of the admiration, competition, and even hatred that can coexist within a family when the stakes are high enough" --
Publisher: New York ;, Toronto :, Atria Paperback,, [2015].
Edition: First Atria paperback edition.
Copyright Date: ©2015
ISBN: 9781501102967
Characteristics: 420 pages ;,21 cm.

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t
timewellspent
Jun 25, 2017

Great read. I could envision the French court life at Versailles palace and the gardens. The beauty, the splendour, the affairs, the politics, the beautiful women wanting to be loved by King Louis. Three wonderful novels to this series.

samdog123 Nov 20, 2016

This is a really good piece of historical fiction. Four out of 5 of the Nesle sisters became mistresses to Louis XV. Each tells her story in her own words. We have the demure Louise, the scheming Pauline, amiable Diane and the politically astute Marie-Anne. Only the pious Hortense doesn't become one of the King's mistresses. The court of Versailles was a real cesspit of scandal. The first in a trilogy, this is very well researched and you feel like you really know each of the sisters as she tells her story. Next in the series is 'The Rivals of Versailles'. For a similar series, try 'Becoming Marie Antoinette' by Julia Grey.

t
TheresaAJ
Jul 18, 2016

This story opens in 1799 when Hortense, the remaining Mailly-Nesle sister, reminisces about life at Versailles when her 4 sisters had affairs with King Louis XV. Most of the story takes place from 1730 to 1744 when Louise, Pauline, Diane, and Marie-Anne become favorites of the king at various times. Christie introduces the reader to the "snake pit of Versailles" as the sisters vie with other courtiers and each other for the power and riches that being the king's mistress brings the current favorite. A fascinating glimpse into the court intrigue and politics that paved the road to the French Revolution.

Cmlibrary_MDodds Apr 20, 2016

If you like historical fiction and/or the author Phillipa Gregory, you will enjoy this book. This is the first in the series!

c
CecileSune
Sep 04, 2015

The five Mailly-Nesle sisters lived in early 18th century France. After their mother passed away, the sisters were separated. Louise, the eldest had just gotten married and was a lady-in-waiting to the queen. Pauline and Diane had been sent to a convent, but they dreamt of living in Versailles. Hortense and Marie-Anne stayed with their aunt in a pious and quiet environment. Eventually, four of the five sisters would successively become mistresses of King Louis XV. This is their incredible story, full of intrigue and heartbreak.

The Sisters of Versailles is the first book in the Versailles trilogy about the mistresses of Louis XV. The author wanted at first to write a non-fiction about the Mailly-Nesle sisters, but decided on fiction instead, as there was little information available when she conducted her research. Sally Christie has an entertaining and humorous writing style. I especially enjoyed the excuses Pauline invents for the reasons why Diane rarely writes to Louise. Moreover, each sister has a distinct personality. Diane, a clumsy and candid young woman, was my favorite as she was a good person and lacked the artifice of the courtiers. However, the dialogues were sometimes too contemporary for a historical fiction. In addition, I would have liked to know more about their father and what happened to him. On the whole though, this was a fascinating novel, and I can’t wait for the second book in the series, The Rivals of Versailles, that will tell the story of Madame de Pompadour.

The Sisters of Versailles was sent to me for free in exchange for an honest review.

Please go to my blog, Cecile Sune - Bookobsessed, if you would like to read more reviews or discover fun facts about books and authors.

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