Luv Lubker has lived in the Victorian era half her life, making friends with the Bronte sisters and the extended family of Queen Victoria. Now she knows them quite as well as her own family.
Born in a cattle trough in the Appalachian mountains, Luv lives in Texas - when she comes to the modern world.
When she isn't living in the Victorian era, she enjoys being with her family; making and eating delicious raw food, riding her bike (which she only learned to ride at 25 though she ridden a unicycle since she was 7), and watching animals - the passion of her childhood.
"It was a love match, a marriage made in heaven – but a large part of it was played out in hell. When Fritz of Prussia, not quite out of his teens, went on a family visit with his parents and sister to the royal family in England and to the Great Exhibition at London in 1851, it would be the start of one of history’s great romances. Vicky, Princess Royal, was still only a girl of ten, but the impression she made on him was immediate. Within seven years they were husband and wife. Fritz was tall, handsome, intelligent, kindhearted and conscientious, but lacked confidence in himself. Vicky was well-educated, determined, passionate, and deeply in love with her husband, she was sure that a bright future lay ahead of them both. Yet malign fate would ensure that the dreams turned to dust.
In this novel Luv Lubker has taken the story of their courtship and early years of married life, setting them against the dark forces that hovered over them in Berlin. They had a difficult relationship with Fritz’s parents Wilhelm and Augusta, an obstinate impatient father who cared for little but a soldier’s life, and an intelligent, artistically-minded mother (in some ways, very like Vicky herself), who had been embittered by her loveless life in an unsympathetic Prussian environment. Yet worst of all was Fritz’s wicked uncle Karl, the prince who thought that he should have been the future king instead of his rather dull, plodding brother Wilhelm. From the moment Karl enters the story, the reader immediately senses that he is going to be the villain of the piece – an evil creature and an unspeakably nasty husband with no apparently redeeming features, ready to cast his hypnotic spell over an innocent young girl and even try to destroy what is probably the only really happy marriage in the immediate family.
It is not the place of a reviewer to say too much about the plot for fear of spoilers. But throughout Vicky and Fritz’s first four years together, and the birth of their first two children, little Wilhelm and Charlotte, a web is being woven by dark forces. Vicky fears she is irredeemably trapped, while Fritz is aware but also knows there is little he can do to shield her. There is nowhere else she can go for help in an alien court. To make matters worse her adored father Albert, Prince Consort, is not only far away in England but also increasingly ill. As any reader with basic knowledge of the characters knows, his early death leaves not only a grieving widow but also a shattered daughter who feels totally bereft without his guidance and advice.
This is a love story in the best traditions of romantic fiction as well as strong foundations in historical fact, but with a deeply sinister undercurrent. Even I was quite startled at one or two of the twists and turns in the narrative. With her love and knowledge of royal history and the full background, the author has done a magnificent job in setting the scene and telling the fascinating story. Even better is the fact that there is a sequel to this novel."
John Van der Kiste, December 2021
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