Thursday, March 12, 2015

Allison Pataki's The Accidental Empress


She was never meant to be the Empress of the Austrian Empire.

That was the role intended for her elder sister Helene.

At 15, Elisabeth, a beauty already, was only to travel with Helene
to Austria and serve as her lady-in-waiting.

"You must always make Helene look good," their mother explained.

But it was not Helene who Franz Joseph, the Habsburg Emperor, fell in love with.


This love story, Pataki's second novel, is a true story, fiction woven with fact in a way that left me turning the pages, enthralled. I didn't expect that. I normally like my fiction separated from biography. But I liked this book so much that I immediately ordered Pataki's first novel, The Traitor's Wife, about the wife of Benedict Arnold. 

Have any of you read either of Allison Pataki's novels? How did you like them?


25 comments:

  1. Never read this author. But I love it when you like one book so much you want to eat up every other book they've written.
    Brenda

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  2. Oh, I do too, Brenda! And I bet this young author is going to be around a long time.

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  3. Ditto what Brenda said, and how interesting that it's based on a true story! Makes it that much more fascinating for sure.

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    1. Doreen, I bet she does a sequel to the book too as the rest of the Empress' life is fascinating too. Sad but fascinating.

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  4. Thank you for the review and recommendation, Dewena. This sounds like the sort of book I'd enjoy, so I will reserve it at the library.

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    1. Good, Honora! I hope you like it.

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  5. Dewena, although I have never read either of Allison Pataki's novels, simply from the snippet of text you have chosen, and your intriguing synopsis of it, (back cover worthy, of course!), make this historical novel most alluring, and definitely, a must read!

    Thanks for another intro to a fine piece of fiction!

    Sending love,
    Poppy

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    1. Thank you, Poppy! My favorite thing is passing along a good book!

      Love to you!

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  6. Then I want Pataki to do Abigail Adams. Am enthralled with her.....for decades.

    XO T

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    1. Yes! We need her to do that! Did you watch Laura Linney as Abigail on PBS?

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  7. ohhhhhhhhh.... deeeeelicious sounding.... yummmmm..... like a decadent, full-of-whipped-cream, dessert!!!!! (in Austria, don't they say whipped cream as something like "mit shlog"? -smile-)

    and oh, one about the wife of Benedict Arnold... also very interesting sounding.

    one of our sons is a pharmacist, but has various other interests. he was in a small film, about Benedict Arnold. from what I remember, from when he was being part of this film, B.A.'s wife was part of his downfall. as in, a wife who wanted "stuff".... but that's a hazy recollection... don't anyone take my word, on it!

    and Benedict Arnold's life, is very interesting too. not all the traitor. he was (sorry) "screwed over" some. had some reasons to be grumpy. ,-)

    anyway, thank you for sharing some book titles!!!!

    Tessa

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    1. Tessa, the book had plenty of whipped cream deliciousness to be a page turner but even the historical aspects were page turners too. And I can't wait to see what Pataki does with Benedict. I don't remember anything beyond him being a traitor but I've been fascinated with knowing more about the Tories ever since I read a book about the Scots who settled in NC being Tories, many of them.

      That's so interesting about your son being in the film! Has he worked in other films or theater?

      I forgot to mention in the post that Allison Pataki is the daughter of former NY Governor Pataki.

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  8. annnnnd..... that photo you took, of the book, propped up in your home...

    ohhhh sigh... it is so beautiful a backdrop. I love, love, love the look of those gorgeous walls. just love them. I am totally in love with all shades of red, rose, wine, etc., etc.

    please, would you take lots of pictures, all around your beautiful home and post them??????

    please and thank you.

    Tessa

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    1. Oh, Tessa, thank you! I love reds too. And there were many more pictures on my old blog, Across the Way under the label "house". And some under the label "Home" here on this blog. But I will try to do more in the future. The red walls are in our home office, with red uppers and white lowers in the living room.

      But I'm afraid R.H. and I spent many days photographing the house and garden for Across the Way, much more than we have the energy for now.
      I probably posted too many house pics in the first blog!

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  9. every comment ... ditto.
    especially tara's. i too would love his bringing abigail adams to life.
    definitely will put these on my list! oh ... so MANY now!!! but I love it! xoxo♥

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    1. Wish I could just pop over next door and lend you my copy, Tam!

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  10. Have not read but now I am intriqued by this love story! :)

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    1. Good, Deb! I loved that Pataki portrayed them with their strengths and their weaknesses, not perfect, just human.

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  11. Dewena, this sounds like such a delightful book. I haven't read in such a long time. Thank you for reminding me to get a good book and READ. You should see Nel's study. She's a book lover, and it is filled with books. I'll mention this book to her.

    Have a wonderful weekend.

    love, ~Sheri

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    1. Your Nel--a child after my own heart. (And yes, I know that she's all grown up but I bet she loved books when she was a child too!

      I hope you have a wonderful weekend, too, Sheri!

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  12. I've never heard of Allison Pataki but she goes straight to my wish list, you make her sound very good indeed (a talent in itself).
    Amalia
    xo

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  13. Fascinating review, Dewena! Would love to see it on our book club site, too. Sounds like a fun book!

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  14. I haven't bought a book in forever besides old ones. I think I'll have to purchase these two :)

    xo

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  15. I haven't, but sounds like something I'd like.

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