by E.L. Konigsburg
Children's historical fiction
Summary in a Sentence:
While waiting in heaven for divine judgment to be passed on her second husband, Eleanor of Aquitaine and three of the people who knew her well recall the events of her life.
Oh, E.L. Konigsburg, how could I ever expect anything less than delightful perfection from you? I don't know how I missed this one growing up, considering From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler was a favorite in elementary school. The cover for Proud Taste has since been updated to appeal to today's audience, but I just love the original cover art, so I included it in this review.
I love historical fiction, but I sometimes struggle to find books in the genre that I know kids will truly enjoy. Proud Taste is one of those books. Konigsburg sets up a clever premise in which impatient Eleanor is waiting in heaven for her husband, Henry II, to move 'up'. While waiting, the readers are told the story of Eleanor's life by three people who knew Eleanor while she was queen: Henry's mother, Abbot Suger (my favorite), and William the Marshal. Each person takes turns relating the life of Eleanor in such a way that the reader doesn't get bogged down while learning about Middle Ages France and England, which is indeed exactly what is going on! Rather than focusing on dates and events, the story is told with a focus on Eleanor's personality, which is quite different than that of most other women of the 12th century. Included in the book are ink drawings separating each of the narratives, along with a map.
~ I read this book for The Tournament of Reading Challenge and the Four Month Challenge ~
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