Wednesday, September 9, 2015

The Sisters of Versailles - Sally Christie

The Sisters of Versailles
I'm giving away a copy of this book! Make sure you read to the end of the post to find out how it could be yours!

Title: The Sisters of Versailles
Author: Sally Christie
Publication Date: 9/1/15
Pages: 432
Genre: RoyalsRomance / Historical / Fiction
How I Found It: TLC Book Tours
Date Completed: 9/4/15

Summary: The court of Louis XV has gone down in history not only as a height of absolute monarchy, but also a height of decadence and excess. Those qualities are certainly on display in this fictional account of five sisters and their experiences with both court politics and the king himself.

What I Thought: This is an era of history that has always interested me. The centuries of monarchical rule in Europe simply enchant me. There is no end to the scandal, the intrigue, the food, the clothes, the's all as plentiful as the strict social regulations which dictated every aspect of life at court. These stories pull me in.

Typically, I find the history itself plenty over-the-top and rarely read fictionalized accounts of royal life. When I do read royal fiction, I tend to like it altered enough so that the unsuspecting reader does not assume every detail as fact. Case in point: this delightful interpretation of the Cambridge romance. So often, historical fiction relies too heavily on the fiction to dramatize and scandalized. A good biography nearly always accomplishes the same effect for me, while maintaining a level of academic integrity.

Yet, I do like to veer off my own well-beaten path every now and again. So, when TLC offered me the chance to review this novel set at the height of Versailles's decadent court life, I thought I would explore the perspective on historical I so rarely enter.

My takeaway?

Sally Christie
The Sisters of Versailles reads like The Bachelor meets Scandal meets Mean Girls three centuries ago. The novel plays out through the perspectives of the five Nesle sisters (Louise, Pauline, Diane, Hortense, and Marie-Anne) and fictional letters written between them. The book starts with their final days together in their childhood home, before Louise's marriage and arrival at the court of Versailles. The reader than follow the Nesle sisters through years of marriage, death, fighting, and love....years which lead four of the five into the King's bed (yes! that's real history!).

While I could have done without some of the more sordid moments in the book, Christie kept the novel PG-13 overall. She kept a light-hearted tone and did a great job portraying the different voices and personalities of the five sisters throughout the book. It was a fun, indulgent read, although it did little to change my opinion of historical fiction. I still prefer nonfiction accounts, but fictional perspectives do at least whet my appetite to learn more. I'm definitely intrigued by the stories of the Nesle sisters and would love to read more about their real lives now.

*To read others' thoughts on The Sisters of Versailles, check out the full tour schedule.*

Rating: ★★★☆☆
Will I Re-Read: Unlikely

A Reduced Review: The gossipy, scandalizing debauchery of 18th century Versailles is at its height in this inspired-by-a-true-story novel.


  1. I love both for different reasons! Since most of my reading these days is for pleasure and escape, the fictionalized account is probably a little better for me. :)

  2. This story does sounds like something out of the tabloids - how crazy!

    Thanks for being a part of the tour.

  3. I think I prefer fiction based heavily upon nonfiction.