Friday, June 27, 2008

The Queen's Soprano

Dines, Carol. 2006. The Queen's Soprano. (Released as paperback in 2007).

Set in seventeenth century Rome during the rule of Pope Innocent XI, The Queen's Soprano is the story of Angelica Voglia, a young woman, a talented woman, who ultimately ended up taking refuge in Queen Christina's court when it became too dangerous for her to remain with her own family. At the time, women were forbidden by the Pope to sing in public. For a woman to take the stage--no matter how talented--would be the undoing of men. Even women singing sacred songs--religious ones--led men to feel "lustful" thoughts or so the Pope's argument went.

Angelica's story is simple really. She's just a young woman who wanted to sing, who loved to sing, who couldn't imagine going through life without singing. She didn't want to entangle men. It was her mother's crafty plans to use her voice to ensnare a rich husband, a noble husband. Angelica didn't want that, didn't need that. She wanted someone to love, yes, but not be possessed by someone she didn't love, could never love.

The Queen's Soprano is rich in detail. Angelica's story is fascinating especially in the realization that this--while fiction--is based on a true historical figure. What we actually know of her we learn from Queen Christina's records. Of course fiction has been blended in as well. But still it makes for a good read, an enjoyable read.

For those that love historical fiction, I'd definitely recommend this one.

© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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