This was my first Philippa Gregory and already I’m a fan. Considering my interest in history, I really am surprised it took this long to read one. Gregory mixes fact and fiction to create novels focussed on great women throughout the Tudor period; The Lady of the Rivers is set in the period of the Cousins’ War (just before the infamous Tudors) and is part of a series of three books each told from the perspective of different women in the conflict.
Although not written first, The Lady of the Rivers is first chronologically and overlaps slightly with The White Queen (which I am desperate to read next). The story centres on Jacquetta, widowed at a young age, she falls in love with her late husband’s squire and eventually becomes the right hand woman to the new Queen Margaret whose actions at court threaten to overturn the kingdom. ‘Jacquetta fights for her king, her queen and her daughter Elizabeth Woodville, for whom she senses an extraordinary future.’ Before I’d even realised it I was completely invested in Jacquetta’s character and the trials and tribulations of her family, it was definitely impossible to put down in quite a few places.
Since finishing The Lady of the Rivers I've noticed the BBC have been showing adverts for a TV adaptation of The White Queen later this year. The advert looks great, watch it here - I so hope they do justice to the books.