Title: Girl on the Golden Coin: A Novel of Frances Stuart
Author: Marci Jefferson
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books
Source: Review copy from publisher
“Impoverished and exiled to the French countryside after the overthrow of the English Crown, Frances Stuart survives merely by her blood-relation to the Stuart Royals. But in 1660, the Restoration of Stuart Monarchy in England returns her family to favor. Frances discards threadbare gowns and springs to gilded Fontainebleau Palace, where she soon catches King Louis XIV’s eye. But Frances is no ordinary court beauty, she has Stuart secrets to keep and people to protect. The king turns vengeful when she rejects his offer to become his Official Mistress. He banishes her to England with orders to seduce King Charles II and stop a war.
Armed in pearls and silk, Frances maneuvers through the political turbulence of Whitehall Palace, but still can’t afford to stir a scandal. Her tactic to inspire King Charles to greatness captivates him. He believes her love can make him an honest man and even chooses Frances to pose as Britannia for England’s coins. Frances survives the Great Fire, the Great Plague, and the debauchery of the Restoration Court, yet loses her heart to the very king she must control. Until she is forced to choose between love or war.
On the eve of England’s Glorious Revolution, James II forces Frances to decide whether to remain loyal to her Stuart heritage or, like England, make her stand for Liberty. Her portrait as Britannia is minted on every copper coin. There she remains for generations, an enduring symbol of Britain’s independent spirit and her own struggle for freedom.”
Girl on the Golden Coin: A Novel of Frances Stuart is the debut novel of Marci Jefferson.
The blurb explains perfectly what this book is about, so I won’t add more to it.
Girl on the Golden Coin starts in the Court of Louis XIV of France, also known as the “Sun King’ and from there it moves to the Court of Charles II of England. I can say it’s pretty obvious Marci Jefferson did a copious amount of research about the period and the characters. Her mastery of subject shows with the excellent job she did at bringing to life the era with the court politics, intrigues, machinations and fashions of the time.
The story is told by Frances Stuart point of view, being in her head made it easier to fall for her. She is a very compelling and strong character that matures throughout the pages.
Jefferson portrait of Charles II make him likeable and easy to understand; a monarch that knew what he needed to do and despite his difficult position it was easy to see he had a good heart and a smart head.
Jefferson writing is fluid and fast paced. Since the very first pages she captures with her words and keeps us glued to the pages until the very end, leaving us wanting for more.
Girl on the Golden Coin: A Novel of Frances Stuart by Marci Jefferson reminded me of how much I enjoy reading biographical historical fiction and made want to read more about the Restoration period.
It’s difficult to believe this was the debut novel of Marci Jefferson. I recommend Girl on the Golden Coin: A Novel of Frances Stuart to historical fiction fans or anybody interesting in reading a good historical book.
I can’t wait to see what else Marci Jefferson has in store for us. She is for sure an author to watch.
My Verdict: 4 Paws
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