Sisi was a strange Queen for her times. She could not be tied down and despite the Emperor (and his mother) admonishing her there was no way Sisi had time for the Court and Court life. She sought the freedom of the countryside and later on travelling anywhere but to stay beside her husband for whom the Empire was the beginning and end of his world. Sisi and the children were secondary only important if they were of some benefit and in relation to the Empire and its work.
Sisi was dutiful, faithful to a point but she was up against many odds and she had to fight against it all with very few weapons at her disposal. An overwhelmingly powerful mother in law, with her own Court and coterie of officials, her husband staid and good but without a shred of understanding for Sisi, two older children who were taken off her hands and who as grown ups are strangers to her and only the youngest who is an actual daughter to her.
The story of Sisi is alternately sad and joyous, complex and different. It made for a very interesting read, especially since the other characters were also important in their own right and would make for interesting stories on their own!
This book was sent to me by Netgalley for an unbiased review courtesy of Random House Publishing Group.