Margaret and Eleanor were sisters. They were also queens at the same time; one of England, one of France.
The plot certainly peaked my interest! This novel takes sibling rivalry to a whole new level. It has romance, unrequitted love, scadalous affairs, war, motherhood, bravery, and finally, it shows readers the importance of having a good sister.
After a tragedy leaves Lucy alone without family, she becomes a teacher at a French school where she lives a solitary lifestyle until she meets two men who could change everything.
Bronte's skill is stunning; the way she depicted loneliness was so vivid, it made me feel the character's emotions more deeply than I've ever felt before. Problem is, I don't particularly like feeling lonely. While Bronte's masterpiece Jane Eye consumed me from page to page, Villette was long and difficult to get through.
Livvy is awesome! I read this five years ago when I first started doing research for Sacred Fire (which takes place during the Second Punic War), but it was too much to handle. Sometimes you have to start writing before you know what research you need, so I wasn't sure what to look for.
This time around, I had a great time following the battles, cheering for Rome and booing Carthage, and reading about the great victory after their near destruction. It was easily the most interesting period in Rome's history, I believe. I was inspired to add several scenes to my novel after this reading. Thank you, Livvy!