For those that have followed my blog over the years, you already know that I am a fan of historical fiction novels.
I've had The Fortune Hunter by Daisy Goodwin in my 'to be read' pile for a number of years now and finally decided to listen to the unabridged audio version of this historical fiction novel earlier this month.
I had high hopes for The Fortune Hunter as the storyline sounded interesting. I didn't know much about Empress Elizabeth of Austria (aka Sisi) before the novel, but her comparison to Princess Diana had me curious about her as a character in The Fortune Hunter. I was also curious about how the love triangle between Sisi, Captain Bay Middleton, and Charlotte was going to play out in this novel as well... Additionally, I was also attracted to The Fortune Hunter as I'd heard good things about Daisy Goodwin as a writer. So, I had looked forward to reading The Fortune Hunter.
Unfortunately, I was disappointed with The Fortune Hunter overall. Although, both Charlotte and Empress Elizabeth of Austria (aka Sisi) were strong willed women and quite accomplished in their fields of interest, which I admired. However, Empress Elizabeth of Austria (aka Sisi) came off as vain, shallow, entitled, controlling, and insecure, while Charlotte Baird, a young lady of good standing and promising photographer, was a fun character to read about in The Fortune Hunter.
Captain Bay Middleton, the third main character in this novel, is a military man and one of the finest horseman in England. Captain Middleton doesn't come from money. He is well known as a ladies man among many social circles and it grew tiresome hearing everyone refer to Captain Middleton amongst themselves and to Captain Middleton's face what a ladies man he was.
Captain Middleton came off as a complete cad and gold digger after trying to win both the affection of Charlotte and also Empress Elizabeth of Austria (aka Sisi). Captain Middleton had already wooed a woman of high standing and wealth, whom had become pregnant with his child... She terminated her relationship with Captain Middleton as she was married and didn't want the social scandal associated with a married woman becoming pregnant with her lover's baby... Instead, she makes her pregnancy seem like the natural occurrance between herself and her husband.
There are a lot of twists and turns in The Fortune Hunter. But I found this novel not to my liking. Many of the characters and plot twists seemed shallow or contrived. I think I'll pass on reading anything more written by Daisy Goodwin.
Below is the summary for The Fortune Hunter by Daisy Goodwin from Goodreads:
Empress Elizabeth of Austria, known as "Sisi," is the Princess Diana of nineteenth-century Europe. Famously beautiful, as captured in a portrait with diamond stars in her hair, she is unfulfilled in her marriage to the older Emperor Franz Joseph. Sisi has spent years evading the stifling formality of royal life on her private train or yacht or, whenever she can, on the back of a horse. Captain Bay Middleton is dashing, young, and the finest horseman in England. He is also impoverished, with no hope of buying the horse needed to win the Grand National—until he meets Charlotte Baird. A clever, plainspoken heiress whose money gives her a choice among suitors, Charlotte falls in love with Bay, the first man to really notice her, for his vulnerability as well as his glamour. When Sisi joins the legendary hunt organized by Earl Spencer in England, Bay is asked to guide her on the treacherous course. Their shared passion for riding leads to an infatuation that threatens the growing bond between Bay and Charlotte, and all of their futures.I am giving The Fortune Hunter by Daisy Goodwin a rating of 2 stars out of 5 stars.
Until my next post, happy reading!!