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Shelves: french-lit , medieval-romance I am so torn on this one. I was so ready to love it. At the beginning, the writing is elegant, the historical setting meticulously detailed although not overwhelming. The characters are engaging.

I liked how the author further gave a historical feel by having some of the action take place outside the narrative, and only related as hearsay by one character to the others after it has occurred. Although this may have the effect of somewhat slowing down or lessening the intensity of the key events, I am so torn on this one.

Although this may have the effect of somewhat slowing down or lessening the intensity of the key events, it really does place the reader in the circumstances of medieval citizens who often had to wait hours, days, months or even years before gaining first hand knowledge of some momentous events, and even then the events were distorted somewhat by having been put through the gossip compactor.

Added to the pleasure of reading a novel in one of my favorite genres was that I was reading it in French. It has been ages that I have done that. I still have all my classics that I accumulated through high school and college but this was the first French book I have acquired in decades. It gave me nostalgia of my childhood I was raised in France though I am not French particularly as I remember the saucy television adaptation of this book on TF1, which was quite a success at the time, in the eighties.

Unfortunately, I regret to say that this was a DNF for me at the conclusion of the First Part of the book and no matter how much I enjoy the writing and the historical detail, I simply could not get over a melodramatic, clunky, extremely far fetched plot device deliberately and artificially placed to drive the lovers apart.

It was meant to be poignant and tragic but unfortunately, for me it was so absurd that it turned into buffoonery and shattered the magic that the author was able to weave so far.

I could not continue at this time despite my best efforts. Quel dommage! Une aventure merveilleuse


Jeanne Bourin



La Chambre des dames


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