Monday, June 13, 2022


by Lauren Groff
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
"Cast out of the royal court by Eleanor of Aquitaine, deemed too coarse and rough-hewn for marriage or courtly life, 17-year-old Marie de France is sent to England to be the new prioress of an impoverished abbey, its nuns on the brink of starvation and beset by disease." --jacket copy
I have always been intrigued by Eleanor of Aquitaine (because of the Katharine Hepburn movie) and this book didn't focus on her as much as I expected it to. The focus was on Marie, who proved to be a fascinating person and I was quickly drawn into her world. She was dropped into a place in life that was not at all what she wanted and part of the strength of this novel was watching her come to terms with this truth. 

The focus on the inner lives of this group of religious women in an isolated place reminded me of Black Narcissusthe time period and the geography in the two novels is very different though.

This book counts toward the 2022 Historical Reading Challenge.


  1. I have also been interested in Eleanor of Aquitane but haven't read much about her. I read the first book in a short historical mystery series by Sharon Kay Penman featuring a man, Justin de Quincy, who is in the service of Eleanor of Aquitaine. That author also wrote a trilogy about Eleanor, but the first one in the series is nearly 800 pages long and I haven't been willing to commit to that.

    Matrix sounds interesting to me because I like stories set in religious orders.

  2. I read and reviewed this one back in December. What a wonderful book!

  3. I do find the life of Eleanor Aquitaine fascinating!

    Thanks for sharing this with the Historical Fiction Reading Challenge


Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

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