Empress Elizabeth of Austria, known as "Sisi", is the Princess Diana of 19th-century Europe. Famously beautiful, as captured in a portrait with diamond stars in her hair, she is unfulfilled in her marriage to the older Emperor Franz Joseph. Sisi has spent years evading the stifling formality of royal life on her private train or yacht or, whenever she can, on the back of a horse. Captain Bay Middleton is dashing, young, and the finest horseman in England. He is also impoverished, with no hope of buying the horse needed to win the Grand National - until he meets Charlotte Baird.
A clever, plainspoken heiress whose money gives her a choice among suitors, Charlotte falls in love with Bay, the first man to really notice her, for his vulnerability as well as his glamour. When Sisi joins the legendary hunt organized by Earl Spencer in England, Bay is asked to guide her on the treacherous course. Their shared passion for riding leads to an infatuation that threatens the growing bond between Bay and Charlotte, and all of their futures.
The Fortune Hunter, the brilliant new novel by Daisy Goodwin, is a lush, irresistible story of the public lives and private longings of grand historical figures.
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Well narrated but very slow moving
Excellent narration but...
It was just an okay story nothing extraordinary really. I have doubt that Empress Elizabeth was an adulteress. The historical facts are not accurate at all and for most is quite fictional. Nonetheless, the story remained descent but with so many inconsistencies in relation to the whereabouts of the main characters. The book was relating a lot promiscuity and indecency and shed light on a glorious aristocracy with their many flaws. Unfortunately, Charlotte Baird naive side was very much annoying and she looked foolish throughout the book.
Well, that I would say yes and no...it all depends on the person's view of adulterous romance and mainly based on deceit and lies.
The entrance of the Empress at Melton to observe the naive Charlotte and how she confronted both protagonists (Bay Middleton) in a daring way. Also the confrontation with Queen Victoria...Well, they are Empresses after all!
None really but Augusta was quite something. I think each character had their moments. I would say the Empress as well who is very much willing to break all conventions to live her forbidden love. Also the fact that Sissy really raised her voice no matter the circumstances which requires requires great control of oneself...
The narration was quite superb and theatrical, the very way a narration should be. I congratulate the narrator for their achievement, I don't think the book would have that much enjoyable without it. I had quite a laugh too several times throughout the book.
- Loïc Thomas