For the many fans of ITV’s Victoria series (amongst whom I count myself!) this is a must read: a novelisation of the first half of the series by its writer. (Spoiler: there’s not much Albert, sadly).
All the memorable scenes between Victoria and her beloved Lord M are recreated, with the internal thoughts of the characters adding more depth to their feelings for each other.
Even if you haven’t watched the TV, this is a fantastic read. Opening at the moment Victoria became queen, the novel charts the difficult first years of her reign, as she shrugged off the suffocating influence of her mother and Lord John Conroy to find her own path. Only eighteen at her accession, and a petite 4’11’’ high, Victoria had to work hard to gain the respect of her (middle-aged, male) counselors, and as a reader you are rooting for her to find her feet (even if they don’t reach the ground when sitting on her throne).
Daisy Goodwin does not portray Victoria as a saint: she is stubborn and judgemental, and makes mistakes that lead some to question her fitness to reign. But our heroine generally triumphs, and the book ends which the stage set perfectly for Albert’s arrived from Coburg. I for one can’t wait for book 2!