Monday, November 28, 2011
Book Tour: Review of Catherine by Sigrid Weidenweber
Anyone who visits my blog will immediately know of my admiration for Catherine the Great because of her presence in my slideshow of favorite historical figures at the top of my blog. That being said, I really have not read in depth about Catherine. I know the basics about her achievements and her life, but I have never delved particularly deeply. Then, along comes this wonderful historical novel by Ms. Weidenweber, that, although it is fiction, is so thoroughly researched and informative, I have learned so much more about Catherine. Now, all I want to do is read more about her in the non-fiction arena. Again, historical fiction has fulfilled its most important task, in my opinion...sparking a further interest in a historical topic or figure.
The author has written a long book--well, it showed 853 pages on my Sony Reader--which is why I am so late with this review. It's not a light summer read. It takes some time and attention, but it is well worth it. I'm honestly going to read it again when I'm not in such a time crunch so I can truly appreciate its merits...and believe me, it has many merits. Catherine is the first book in the trilogy, The Volga River Flows Forever, the second and third books being The Volga Germans and From Gulag to Freedom. I really can't wait to read the rest of the series.
“You look astonishingly pretty,” admits Johanna when Sophia steps out of her bedroom dressed in Ulrika’s magnificent gown. Sophia is stunned, halting in mid-step. This is rare praise from her cold mother, so she must, indeed, look very good. At Frederick’s side during the elaborate court dinner, Sophia shines and sparkles with youth and wit. The monarch is very pleased with his choice. Indeed, he is so enamored with the girl that he opens his purse to outfit mother and daughter, both woefully deficient in material matters appropriate for court life.
So begins the transformation of Princess Sophia of Anhalt-Zerbst into Catherine the Great of Russia. The personal and professional triumphs and tribulations of this remarkable woman are retold by Sigrid Weidenweber, whose research into the life of Catherine reveals a new perspective on Catherine, from the inside out. Sigrid portrays with heartfeld understanding what it was like to have been such a major European political and military, social and cultural figure during the eighteenth century.
Born in Germany in 1941, Sigrid Weidenwber remembers the horrific aftermath of fascism. At the end of the war, she found herself living under communism. After the Berlin Wall was built, she managed to escape the repressive environment with the help of friends and a French passport. To this day she does not speak French.
She holds degrees in medical technology, psychology and an Honorary Doctor of Letters from Concordia University of Portland, Oregon for her trilogy “The Volga Flows Forever.” In her trilogy she brings to life Catherine the Great in her multiple roles as monarch, woman, lover, mother, grandmother and head of the general staff of the army, in Volume one. The following two historical volumes deal with the Volga Germans brought to Russia by Catherine’s edict.
Tour Page and Schedule
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DISCLOSURE: I received an eBook copy of Catherine in exchange for an honest review. I was not monetarily compensated.