Sunday, February 8, 2015

The Barefoot Queen ~ A Novel

::From the back of the book::
Spain, 1748. Caridad is a recently freed Cuban slave wandering the streets of Seville. Her master is dead and she has nowhere to go. When, by chance, she meets Milagros Carmona—a spellbinding, rebellious gypsy—the two women become inseparable. Caridad is swept into an exotic fringe society full of romance and art, passion and dancing. 

But their way of life changes instantly when gypsies are declared outlaws by royal mandate and their world as a free people becomes perilous. The community is split up—some are imprisoned, some forced into hiding, all fearing for their lives. After a dangerous separation, Caridad and Milagros are reunited and join in the gypsies’ struggle for sovereignty against the widespread oppression. It’s a treacherous battle that cannot, and will not, be easily won. 

From the bustle of Seville to the theatres of Madrid, The Barefoot Queen is an unforgettable historical fresco filled with characters that live, suffer, and fight for the lives of those they love, and for the freedom they can’t live without. 

::My Thoughts::
I must say I have mixed feelings about this book. While I liked it I also found it to be heartbreaking. There is so much tragedy mixed in here. It is an excellent work of historical facts mixed with fiction that brings those days more to life than we could have imagined. At the same time this is not a read for the faint of heart. There is a lot of tragedy, murder, rape, misfortune, etc. There is also strength, characters overcome obstacles with a will power you wouldn't believe, and there will be times when you find yourself on the edge of your seat. Of course during the time frame this book is set in that shouldn't be a surprise as slavery was big back then and unfairness to African Americans and Gypsies was no secret sadly. It's much different reading about it with a story that makes it come more to life than you could imagine.
I found myself frustrated by a lot of the characters, however. Especially Milagros, a young gypsy girl who despite what her family warns her against decides to take matters of her love life into her own hand. This of course leads to misfortune on her part as you soon find out. I won't go into details as I don't want to spoil anything, but if you give this book a try you will see what I mean. I felt a lack of emotion on the characters parts. I was frustrated that most of them just seemed to take their lot and accept it regardless and there was little felt by them. It was hard for me to continue reading this book. At times I was drawn in by characters or circumstances, and at other times I was disgusted and couldn't read on. I felt there was little passion from the characters when there needed to be during certain scenes which made it harder to visualize. But I do recommend giving this book a try if your interested in history. There are some interesting facts in this book mixed up in the fiction, and it's definitely worth a try. I did not completely dislike the book, I just seen a lot of places for improvement. The last section of the book is where it really got good so I'm glad I stuck with it. I am glad I read it even if it was harder for me to get in to.

::Product Details::
  • Hardcover: 656 pages
  • Publisher: Crown (November 25, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0804139482
  • ISBN-13: 978-0804139489

::This book is also available in...::
Kindle     Nook     Print

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book as a Blogging for Books member in exchange for my unbiased review. All opinions expressed are solely my own.

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