Monday, September 23, 2013

Godiva - Nicole Galland

Title: Godiva
Author: Nicole Galland
Paperback: 305 pages
Publisher: William Morrow
Published date: July 2013
FTC: Received from author to review

Last year I read Nicole Galland's amazing novel I, Iago (my review) and she rapidly rose to one of my favorite authors.  I, Iago is the story of Othello seen through the eyes of Iago, the villian of the story, and I was blown away how sympathetic she made such a character.  When I heard she was coming out with a new novel, Godiva, I jumped at the chance to read it.  I was even more amazed when the author herself emailed me to see if I wanted to do a review AND I got the chance to interview Nicole Galland. I was beyond excited and nervous!  While I, Iago is still my first and favorite Galland novel, I thoroughly enjoyed Godiva.  Come back tomorrow to check out my interview and enter for a chance to win a copy of Godiva

Back of the book:

According to the legend, Lady Godiva lifted the unfair taxation of her people by her husband, Leofric, Earl of Mercia, by riding through the streets of Coventry wearing only a smile. It's a story that's kept tongues wagging for nearly a thousand years. But what would drive a lady of the court to take off everything and risk her reputation, her life, even her wardrobe - all for a few peasants' pennies?

In this daringly original, charmingly twisted take on an oft-imagined tale, Nicole Galland exposes a provocative view of Godiva not only in the flesh, but in all her glory. With history exonerating her dear husband, Godiva, helped along by her steadfast companion the abbess Edgiva, defies the tyranny of a new royal villain. Never before has Countess Godiva's ride into infamy - and into an unexpected adventure of romance, deceit, and naked intrigue - been told quite like this.

My thoughts:

I've always thought Lady Godiva's story must have been quite interesting.  As a history major - and taking some art history classes - who could forget such a classic image as John Collier's Godiva:

Yes, Lady Godiva was a real historical figure and not just a chocolate mascot.  I absolutely loved how Nicole Galland portrayed this historical figure.  This Godiva is a strong and smart woman who understands how politics work and knows how to get things done.  She is financially well off on her own but she also has a strong marriage with her husband Leofric.  I loved that she didn't come off as pretentious, silly, or unnaturally gorgeous.  She just knew what she wanted and didn't mind using her womanly charms to get things done.  If that didn't work she'd just try something else.

Relationships play a big part of this story.  I love that Leofric and Godiva had a strong marriage and Godiva was a faithful and loving wife to Leofric while Leofric was a loving and understanding husband.  It was interesting to note the time period this story took place in.  Godiva was an 11th-century Anglo-Saxon noblewoman.  I don't think I've read any novels about this time period and it's interesting to see the difference in customs and women's roles during this period.  In the P.S. section at the end of the book, Nicole Galland mentions the differences of how after the invasion, the Normans disempowered women.  But women like Godiva, Anglo-Saxon and before the invasion, held political and personal power.  I loved reading about this time period an how different women's roles were before the Norman invasion.

A large portion of Godiva's story revolves around the friendship between Godiva and Abbess Edgiva.  Their interactions were almost like sisters - each loving each other but often not approving or quite understanding the other.  However they both would go through a lot to help the other out. I adore novels about sisters so their relationship and story is ultimately why I enjoyed reading Godiva.


TLC Book Tours held a tour of Godiva back in July so check out what other bloggers thought of Godiva.

Come back tomorrow to check out my interview with Nicole Galland and enter to win a copy of Godiva!


  1. Your review was excellent and captivated my interest. The characters and the depth of the story sounds very unique and memorable. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com, Anne

  2. The relationship between Lady Godiva and Leofric is fascinating. Would enjoy this novel. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com