From Publishers Weekly
A cousin by marriage to England's Queen Elizabeth II illuminates the personal lives of eight European princesses who married foreign rulers over the past 300 years. Vicky, Queen Victoria's eldest child and empress of Prussia, was a highly cultured, intellectual and innovative philanthropist in a relatively backward society; was vilified as a spy by Bismarck; and had a complicated relationship with her eldest son, Willy. Fashion icon Eugénie, the Spanish wife of Emperor Louis-Napoleon of France, forgave her husband's repeated infidelities; was condemned for interfering in foreign policy; and was morbidly obsessed with Marie Antoinette. Austrian Archduchess Maria Carolina only became queen of Naples after the untimely deaths of two sisters and was shattered by the execution of a third, Marie Antoinette. Danish princess Alexandra was embraced by the British, but her sister Minnie, empress of Russia, was exiled from her adopted country after her son and his family were famously murdered in the Russian Revolution. The controversial personality that has landed Princess Michael of Kent (Cupid and the King
) in the tabloids is nowhere in evidence in these unremarkable minibiographies. Catherine the Great and Marie Antoinette have been covered more creatively in numerous books, and the brief forays into the realms of lesser-known royals don't leave readers eager for more. B&w photos. (Feb.)
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"Cecilia Samartin delivers a novel rich in passion, heartbreak and love. "Broken Paradise" captures the textures and rhythms of my homeland of Cuba with its musical, agile prose and kept me engrossed to the last page. An important, timely work of fiction, it goes to the heart of what it means to be an exile. A truly American story."-- Victor Rivas Rivers, actor and author of "A Private Family Matter"