‘You are my sister now,’ Victoria said, quietly and solemnly. ‘Never forget it. I love you like a sister, and you are my only friend in all the world.’ Miss V. Conroy is good at keeping secrets. She likes to sit as quiet as a mouse, neat and discreet. But when her father sends her to Kensington Palace to become the companion to Princess Victoria, Miss V soon finds that she can no longer remain in the shadows. Miss V’s father has devised a strict set of rules for the young princess, which he calls the Kensington System. It governs her behaviour and keeps her locked away from the world. He says it is for the princess’s safety, but Victoria herself is convinced that it is to keep her lonely, and unhappy. Torn between loyalty to her father and her growing friendship with the wilful and passionate Victoria, Miss V has a decision to make: to continue in silence, or to speak out. By turns thrilling, dramatic and touching, this is the story of Queen Victoria’s childhood as you’ve never heard it before.
Thanks to Bloomsbury for sending me a copy of MY NAME IS VICTORIA for review.
I am a fan of historical fiction novels and recently I have become interested in Victorian Britain history after studying a Literature in Victorian Britain course last semester in uni. I didn’t have high expectations going in to this book because the blurb was quite vague, but I was still interested in how it was going to pan out.
This book is a great introduction to Queen Victoria and this time period. The character’s are young throughout the course of the novel, however, their life experiences definitely make them appear more mature. In saying this, I think the novel is directed toward a younger audience. If I was younger, say 12-15, I probably would’ve enjoyed this a lot more. I read a review saying, “adult me would give this a 3.5 but I think it’s a brilliant introduction to historical fiction and if I was younger I would give it a 4”.
But MY NAME IS VICTORIA focuses on so much more than the history. It is a tale of friendship between two girls who have lived completely different lives. Miss V and Princess Victoria are thrown together, and what we think is going to be a disaster ends up being the start of a beautiful friendship. The two characters go through a lot of ups and downs throughout the story and it was interesting to see how differently they both handled the situations.
Another aspect that I loves is that it is written by historian – Lucy Worsley. It is obvious that Lucy is passionate about what she was writing and has a lot of knowledge in the genre. The unique touch that she added to Queen Victoria’s story only made it more authentic and intriguing. I actually finished the book in one day (two sittings) because it was a page turner.
Comment below if you’ve read MY NAME IS VICTORIA and your thoughts on it. Also let me know what your favourite historical time period is to read about!