Late last night I finished reading “Antoinette’s Sister,” by Diana Giovinazzo. The story tells of Maria Carolina Charlotte who became Queen of Sicily. Initially her elder sister Josepha was the intended bride but tragedy struck when she died of small pox. Now Maria Carolina Charlotte has to be the intended bride to Sicily’s King Ferdiand. Down the line Maria Carolina Charlotte’s sister Marie Antionette will go and marry France’s future king. While the two close sisters never see each other again, they remain close by always writing to one another. We also read about Maria Carolina Charlotte’s time as queen, her alleged affair with John Action and even though you know the sad fate of Marie Antionette, you still hope for a sisterly reunion that was not meant to be. It’s also nice that a historical fiction book is written about a royal we don’t know a whole lot about.
Pros & Cons
My favorite part of the novel was the letters exchanged between the sisters, their brother Leopold and their mother Maria Theresa. While some of the actual letters have been lost to time as mentioned in the author’s note, I think it’s realistic to what they corresponded to one another. I will say it was confusing that the date on some of the letters would be a future date and then when it went back to Maria Carolina Charlotte telling her own story again it was a previous date. It was also interesting to know that Maria Carolina Charlotte, before marrying Ferdiand was originally intended to be Queen of France and not Marie Antionette. I didn’t know that. It does beg the question, Would Maria Carolina Charlotte have been a better queen of France than her sister? Would there have been a revolution? We will never know for sure.
I definitely can’t wait to read more from Diana Giovinazzo in the future. It’s also nice that we’re getting books, t.v. shows, and movies about lesser known royals and famous royals that aren’t talked about enough instead of the umpteenth movie or show about the Tudors.