“Goodbye miss V.”
I struggled to reopen the carriage door, for Edward had already clicked it shut before I had had the chance to say farewell properly to my mother. But I was too late.
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.
What I thought
This was another book I had to push myself with more than once, although not as badly as Perfume. I just didn’t care enough to pick it up again once I’d put it down a lot of the time. Although I read a lot of YA I felt that this was aimed at kids younger than the stuff I normally read which made it feel like a chore to read at times as the writing style and the story just didn’t capture my attention. I feel like this problem comes at the top age of kidlit and is something I would recommend to some of my older Brownies
The story is about a part of British history and the monarchy that I don’t really know much about; considering that most of my school history was spent on the Tudors, the Stewarts and the Victorians, it is pretty impressive to find a bit that I didn’t know. Which is clearly one of the reasons it was written, we know about Victoria’s time as queen but not her childhood. I was looking forward to reading a story about a young queen Victoria and her childhood because I knew nothing about it. Incidentally since reading this I have gone and done some research online about it and although this is fiction, it’s written by a historian and therefore it’s no surprise that the world she wrote is very close to the truth. (Apart from the whole ‘what-if’ part which is the basis for the whole story)
I really enjoyed the premise of the story of a young queen making friends with the girl who was supposed to spy on her and it was interesting seeing the relationship between the two Victorias grow as well as seeing these two girls grow into two very different people even though the environment around them.
I feel like the issues with this book mostly come from the fact that I found it too childish. I found the ‘big twist’ (!) not a surprise in the slightest, it wasn’t subtle at all in the lead up so when it’s first mentioned it doesn’t come as a shock to me in the same way it did to the characters. The pacing also felt off as well some bits were really slow and others much too quick. It’s as though she was more interested in the world building and history than the actual plot. Which seeing as the world building and the history is her actual job it’s not surprising.
Why I read it
One week on #UKYAChat was all about historical fiction. I had said that it was something I didn’t really read or enjoy and this was one of the ones recommended to me. It caught my interest so I reserved it at the library that night.
I think I enjoyed the idea of this book more than the book itself, maybe Worsley should have written it with someone else who was a children’s writer so that the issues I had with it weren’t as glaring. But I am fully aware that this isn’t my genre to begin with before even mentioning that for me it felt like it was aimed at 11/12 year olds. She’s written a couple of other books, and I had reserved ‘Lady Mary’ from the library as well after reading this but I just couldn’t bring myself to pick it up so it returned to the library unread
Would I recommend: Yes, but only to certain people. I’d definitely suggest this one for my older Brownies.
Popsugar: Book based on a real person, borrowed/given as a gift,
As always hearing what you have to say would be lovely, I make a point of replying to all of them.
I hope you’re all enjoying good weather (south England can’t really decide if it’s going to be good or not right now)
P.S. My next book is ‘The Industry of Human Happiness’ by James Hall