Book Review : His Last Duchess by Gabrielle Kimm

His Last Duchess
His Last Duchess by Gabrielle Kimm

Product details
  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Sphere (5 Aug 2010)
  • ISBN-10: 0751544507
  • ISBN-13: 978-0751544503
  • Product Dimensions: 21.6 x 14 x 3.3 cm
  • Buy His Last Duchess at Amazon

When sixteen-year-old Lucrezia de' Medici marries the fifth Duke of Ferrara, Alfonso d'Este, she imagines life with her handsome husband will be idyllic. But little does she know that he is a very complicated man. The marriage is fraught with difficulties from the start, and, as time passes, Lucrezia becomes increasingly alienated. For Alfonso, the pressure mounts as the Vatican threatens to reclaim his title should the couple remain unable to produce an heir. Only his lover Francesca seems able to tame his increasing fury. But Alfonso's growing resentment towards his duchess soon becomes unbearable, and he begins to plot an unthinkable way to escape his problems.

If you want to read a good historical fiction, this book is what you need. Before marrying the Alfonso, Lucrezia lives a happy, free life with her parents. She expects her wedded life to be blissful and felicitous, but she does not understand the man under the admirable facade. He is actually a cold and distant man who cares little for his wife and only views her as a rare treasure.

Gabrielle has written this book in a way that readers will immediately connect with Lucrezia's pitiful condition and vote for her happiness. She is an aristocrat, but she is actually a poor girl, because she can never pick her own partner. When she seeks happiness beyond the castle in which she is trapped, you will feel excited but scared for her. Her only friend is the kitchen maid she brought from her parents' residence, Catelina.

Alfonso's character is dark and depressing. I can't figure out his motives most of the times. He doesn't seem to have a heart. Well, metaphorically. He gives me an impression of a man without a soul. When he tries to do something terrible towards Lucrezia, I'm really shocked.

His Last Duchess starts out well, and the plot keeps building until the climax, which is totally awesome. I love the ending of this story because it gives us an exact idea of the aftermath of the terrifying event. Never lacking of suspense and thrilling events, His Last Duchess is a book that you will not be able to put down.

Parental guidance is suggested for teenagers under 18 years of age as there are adult contents in this book.

Rating: 5

Many thanks to Gabrielle Kimm for sending me a paperback copy of this book, which I won from Historical Belles and Beaus.
Gabrielle has a BA in English Language and Literature, from the University of Reading, a PGCE in English from the University of Oxford, and an MA in Creative Writing (Distinction) from the University of Chichester. She is married with two daughters (currently twelve and sixteen) and a grown-up stepson, and they share their lives with an elderly and charming Lakeland Terrier.

Gabrielle Kimm's Online Connections:
Blog :: Website

2 creative remarks:

Hannah Kincade said...

Thanks for the write up! I do love a good historical fiction. Great job!

Melissa said...

Love this review! I'm a sucker for hist. fiction :)