Monday, March 9, 2009
Book Review: Trianon a Novel of Royal France
Trianon, a Novel of Royal France, by Elena Maria Vidal.
‘It is the story of the martyred King Louis XVl and his Queen.’ P. ix
Be prepared for a re-introduction to two remarkable human beings whose fate can only be compared to that of the holiest martyrs. You will forever banish any previous perceptions or accounts for which you believed to be true. Be prepared to learn history as it should have been told. You will experience their life, their love, their faith, for you have never known them as you will after reading this book…Be prepared to be moved beyond belief.
This absolutely beautifully written novel details the life of the Royal couple by capturing the very essence of their being. Faith is the fiber that binds them to a relentless love for eachother and their country. The book is filled with magnificent scripture that is there not for the embellishment of the story, but rather as an ever present part of their daily life. The story is told in minute details and the love, the hardship, the loyalty and the suffering are all equally intense. There isn’t a part of the book that can be read lightly. It is extremely deep in terms of love, sorrow, faith and revelation.
Both Marie Antoinette and Louis XVl were deeply religious and this is clear throughout the book. They lived their lives in accordance to the Roman Catholic religion and dedicated their lives to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Virgin Mary. The book highlights this important aspect of their lives; which was essential for sustaining them through their infinite struggles and tragedies.
I had always liked Louis XVl, but after reading Trianon, I began to see him in a way that I had never seen him before. He was now grander, nobler, stronger and of the kindest heart ever imaginable. I now adore this king more than ever. Marie Antoinette is clearly portrayed as a loving soul who was doomed from the very beginning. She was branded and never given a chance. ALL those who knew her though, loved her and saw the simplicity and the extent of her forever- giving nature. She truly is ‘La reine martyre.’
I was also fascinated by the lives and encounters of the other characters seen in the book, such as; Madame Royale, a young daughter who was exposed to way too much tragedy at such an impressionable age; Madame Louise of France and her piety and love and understanding of the royal couple; and of course, Madame Elizabeth and her tender ways; the Abbé, who helped give great strength to the king. His role was immense in a time of inconceivable tragedy. I got to learn so much about all the other characters as well.
I particularly enjoyed the way Elena Maria Vidal takes us through the royal couple’s lives by weaving in details of past, and blending them perfectly within the story. The intricate details pertaining to the time, place and person are what made it so real and indisputably accurate in the historical sense as well. So, for me this book was more than a glimpse into the lives of historical figures by means of a novel. This was a reliving of history as it should have been told.
Now, although I could not put this book down because I was totally enveloped by it; it was by no means an easy read. This book wrenched my heart out as I relived their tragedy, page by page. It touched me so deeply that all I wanted to do was to keep on reading.
This magnificent book is enlightening, as well as elevating; the perfect blend of history and spirituality within the realm of compassion and truth…Mesmerizing.
An absolute must read.
* At the beginning of the book, a detailed list of characters is included along with the family tree of the Royal House of Bourbon.
Posted by Lucy at 7:58 PM