Today’s Book Review sponsored by Cross-Focused Media, who provided an e-copy of this book for review.
Renee of France by Simonetta Carr is in the series “Bitesize Biographies,” a group of, you guessed it, short biographies on various individuals across Christian history. They are published by Evangelical Press, so one can assume each will feature individuals more in line with Evangelical theology than any other.
Renee of France is one of those. Her story is one I was not familiar with before reading this book. It was fascinating to learn of her life and her interactions with both the Catholic authorities during the 16th century and the Reformation leaders in the same time frame. Here is a fascinating woman: questioning kings, corresponding with theologians, and even challenging the words of Popes.
This is a story that I would have heard without needing to write this review. Renee of France is a victim of the Great Man method of history study: we learn certain few men who influenced the time, but many of the smaller stories are not well-known. In truth, that is a shame and I am glad to see biographies coming out that help work to balance that equation.
On to the writing: I have read various biographies, geared toward the general Christian market. Renee of France is not the strongest interest-holding one I have read. My fascination and willingness to read through was based more on my own ignorance of her life than on the writing style grabbing my attention. The years seemed to drag at points, but I suppose that life feels that way at times anyway.
In all, for a Bitesize Biography, the information amount was good—certainly one would like more info, but that would run against the intent of the series. Renee of France does not fly by in terms of reading speed, but neither is it a drudge. More middle-of-the road.
Will we add this to future homeschool curriculum? Likely it will hit the digital shelf for junior high/middle school. The events and subject matter are a little too heavy for elementary.
Renee of France works as an introduction to what was, I am certain, a challenging life.