This is the second novel by Philippa Gregory that I have read. After reading [book: The Boleyn Inheritance] I thought that Gregory could become one of my favourite authors.
After The Virgin's Lover, however, I am no longer that sure. It was far too long, there were passages in this book which didn't serve any real purpose. Maybe that's not even Gregory's fault, to me it seems the book is rather badly edited than badly written.
What actually is her fault is the portrayal of Elizabeth I. I hated how she made her look like a small and stupid child. Even though she may have made some mistakes and she may have been inexperienced, I just refuse to believe that Elizabeth was stupid. Because that's just the way she comes off in this novel: a stupid, spoiled child driven by nothing but lust.
The dialogues between her and Dudley made me want to scream and throw this book right out the window.
I have always admired Elizabeth I as a great woman, and Gregory's portrayal of her just doesn't go along with the image I had of that Queen.
The only character I really liked was Cecil, he was well written and acted in an understandable way.
So maybe it's not Gregory's fault but mine. My expectations were too high.
This does not mean, however, that I won't read another book by this author. I'm still hoping that her other novels are as good as The Boleyn Inheritance.