"A romance and an interesting novel about a little-known French queen. It is a story with a strong sense of place and well-drawn characters, a story of heartache and forbidden love, of women in the 15th century French court, who fought with passion and determination for what they wanted. A striking story."--Historical Novel Society
"Genuine character development and engagement with the fascinating setting."--The BookLife Prize in Fiction
"A beautifully written novel that will transport the reader back in time, giving the reader a wonderful appreciation of what life was like in late Medieval France. The dialogue never leaves the reader in a dull moment and sets a strong steady pace for the entire novel. One will feel great compassion for Anne's struggles in life all while cheering for Nicole as she discovers the person she is meant to become. The secondary characters greatly fill out the story, leaving a well-rounded novel. The book itself is well edited,creating a very well composed novel and leaves the reader satisfied in their own role in the story. I give Sense of Touch a 4 out of 4 stars. This incredible novel will touch anyone who reads it, whether they are fans of historical fiction or not."--A.C. Woolet, Online Book Club official review
"I have no hesitation in giving this book 5 well-deserved stars. A fascinating insight into Anne of Brittany (honestly, before I read this book I had not heard of her). A mesmerizing story line, eloquently told with a brilliant dialogue."--Duncan Whitehead, bestselling author of The Gordonston Ladies Dog Walking Club
"Readers who love their romantic fiction intertwined with real-life figures from history will find Sense of Touch a compelling read. The touching love story gives an interested glimpse into court life in France in the late 15th century.The fictional heroine is well drawn and a formidable counterpart to Anne of Brittany."--RT Review Source
"An enchanting historical romance about a young woman who is determined to marry her one true love, despite the many obstacles in her path.The heroine's quest for self determination defies the rigid social structure of Medieval Europe as it gives way to the Renaissance. Set in the court of Anne of Brittany, we also learn much about the woman who was twice Queen consort of France and her struggle to produce a living heir for the throne . . .Well-paced with period detail."--The Westchester Guardian
"An exquisitely written piece that eloquently describes Queen Anne as the gracious, kind, yet shrewd monarch that she is, a woman before her time."--InD'tale Magazine
"Rozsa Gaston's well researched foray into Anne of Brittany, the life of a noblewoman at court and the 15th century is spot on. She successfully and artfully blends fact and fiction to create an unforgettable tale. Anne's story alone is compelling, and one I was not so familiar with before reading this book. She suffers loss with grace and dignity, and has an inner strength, one she shares with Nicole as the plot unwinds.Gaston deftly weaves the tapestry of her story while paying homage to a lesser known but deserving historical figure. Well written, well developed characters and accurate historical information make this book a winner. Exquisite and eloquent, Rozsa Gaston shows Anne of Brittany and Nicole to be modern women well ahead of their times. Don't miss this!"--Helene Furst, Morning Beans Blog
"Sense of Touch by Rozsa Gaston visits the court of historical figure Anne of Brittany and adroitly blends fact with fiction as this author shares the story of her characters noble woman Nicole St. Sylvain and horse trainer Philippe de Bois. Fleshed out with amazing amounts of research coupled with Ms.Gaston's sensitivity and imagination this story comes to life as it shares an intimate view of life in 15th Century France and the hearts of her wonderfully depicted characters. This writer was able to maintain the delicate balance of her story and pay homage to a historical figure of note accurately and engagingly. Well written this work will resonate with lovers of history and romance alike."--Jennifer Hayes, Jenerated Reviews
"The Horse Whisperer meets costume drama based on true events. Rozsa Gaston weaves fact and fiction, made-up characters and historical figures as effortlessly as the artist of the unicorn tapestry she describes in Sense of Touch."--Hilde van den Bergh, Hemmahoshilde Blog
"A fascinating look at a historical time when women fought to find theirplace in a man's--and a king's--world. Well written, too. Good pacing."--Jina Bacarr, author of Cleopatra's Perfume
"A wonderful read filled with intrigue, adventures, passion and strength, Sense of Touch lets the world know more about the much forgotten Anne of Brittany."--Clarissa Devine, Quirky LadyBookworm Blog
"An excellent read, a real page-turner. Anyone interested in romantic historical fiction will love Sense of Touch. Set against the intriguing backdrop of French 15th century court life and its Queen, the strong, fascinating Anne of Brittany, the author skillfully weaves both real-life and fictional figures into this extremely well-written novel."--Toby Oliver, author of The Downing Street Plot
From the Author
Anne of Brittany's travails trying to bring live children into the world rival any woman's in history. Her fourteen pregnancies resulted in the survival of two children, both daughters.The rest? Three miscarriages, five stillborn infants, one son dead after three hours, one daughter dead after one day, another son lived three weeks, her longest living son survived to age three when he succumbed to measles. As a public figure, this queen's drama played out on the stage of all of France. If I had made this up, readers wouldn't believe it.Yet it's all true, and carefully historically documented.
I began to wonder why Anne of Brittany's story is not well known. Many modern women share the same secret heartaches their medieval and ancient-era sisters suffered: pregnancy loss, inability to bring a live child into the world, inability to keep a child alive once born. Women continue to struggle with these issues, suffering in silence when pregnancy and childbirth loss occurs. My heart aches for every one of them.
I wanted to bring alive Anne of Brittany's tale for modern women, many of whom share her story in personal grief and in courage. At the same time this brave woman endured continual personal tragedy she achieved great success as queen of France. She offers the world a model of fortitude and resilience in the face of enormous personal suffering.
- Anne of Brittany ruled over the most sophisticated court in Europe.
- She was the first European royal to wear lingerie, specifically brassieres.
- She helped usher in the glories of the Renaissance from Italy to France.She ran the first finishing school for young women of noble birth,educating them in book learning and estate management and supplying or supplementing their dowries when they married.
- Both of Anne of Brittany's husbands were madly in love with her. Neither considered putting her aside despite her inability to produce an heir for the throne of France. Her second husband, Louis XII of France, died less than a year after her death at the age of thirty seven. It was said that he never recovered from her death.
- Anne of Brittany was renown throughout Europe as a matchmaker. Rulers of other European countries,including King Ferdinand of Spain, after his wife Isabella's death, and the King of Hungary sought her advice in choosing suitable new spouses.