Reading/Interest Level: Young Adult
Author: Lucy Worsley
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Miss V. Conroy is an ordinary eleven-year-old girl living in England, but she is given an extraordinary opportunity when her father takes her to Kensington Palace to become Princess Victoria’s companion. Miss V.’s father is the advisor to the Duchess of Kent, and he takes the princess’ safety very seriously. The princess, however, is convinced that Sir Conroy is imprisoning her with his strict “system.” Princess Victoria’s hatred for Sir Conroy and her sickly, irritable disposition makes it difficult for Miss V. to be a good companion initially; however, the two girls become the best of friends as they spend more time together. When the girls turn sixteen, Miss V.’s loyalty struggles between her father, whose approval she desperately seeks, and Princess Victoria, who is the best friend she has ever had. She ultimately discovers that her father does not care for the royal family but is only trying to claim power for himself. Miss V. is able to take a stand against her scheming father and find a solution to make both the princess and herself as happy as possible.
My Name Is Victoria is a charming book that is different than what readers initially expect, and it is certainly not the Queen Victoria story that many people are familiar with. While My Name Is Victoria contains real people and events, Lucy Worsley's fictional interpretation and unexpected ending gives the story a hint of magic. This book is also interesting because it starts as a middle grade novel but ends in the young adult realm. While the prose and storytelling are initially immature, this serves the novel because it follows Miss V. and the princess from age eleven to age eighteen. The plot moves very slowly at times and the storytelling isn’t as refined as it could be, but the story is intriguing, and the protagonist is likeable; many readers would enjoy reading about her journey from being a timid, obedient daughter to becoming a strong, courageous friend. My Name Is Victoria is heart-wrenching at many points, yet satisfying in its conclusion, and readers seeking for a different kind of princess story are likely to enjoy this unique novel.