About the Book
Title: Not So Happily Ever After
Author: Susan Barnett Braun
Genre: Young Adult
Release date: July 12, 2012
Think history is boring? Then you’ve never met Mad King Ludwig, who inspired Walt Disney with his magnificent castle in the clouds. He ruled the German kingdom of Bavaria for twenty-two years, inspiring his people by his support for the arts. And yet, “Mad King Ludwig” rarely appeared in the capital or attended any government functions. He slept most of the day and stayed awake all night. He dined with his horse and waved pistols at servants. He created a fantasy world inside his castles, complete with caves and trap-door tables. To this day, no one is sure exactly what caused his untimely death in a lake. Who was this man: fairy tale king? Insane eccentric? Mad King Ludwig’s life followed many twists and turns on its way to Not So Happily Ever After. The book’s intended audience is young adults, but it is perfect for adults wanting to learn more about Ludwig also.
Click here to purchase your copy!
For as long as I can remember, I have always loved reading and learning about history. While in high school, I had the opportunity to become part of the historical society in Salisbury, North Carolina. Frequently, I would dress up in clothes from the 1800s (hoop skirt and all) while leading visitors through the Dr. Josephus W. Hall house. So when I saw the opportunity to review this book, I was truly excited.
Also, I have German ancestors, so that part made me interested in reading this book as well. The family dynamics created a wide amount of intensity in this book. With favorite children, instability, conceitedness, pride and more, there is something for almost everyone in this book.
The discussion about the relationship between Wagner and Otto captured my attention. Being part of a musical family, I understand the power of music. It takes an artistic soul in many cases to appreciate music which completely suited Otto. Yet, it also means there is a great tendency toward emotional outbursts and more. Otto and Wagner demonstrated that as well.
The incredible architecture Otto required for his residences (castles) he had built made me want to walk through all the buildings as they would have been if Otto had been able to complete them. Yet in the way of many monarchs, Otto did not have a happily-ever-after. One of his underlings along with his uncle and the members of his governing council plotted for his downfall. Yet mystery surrounds his death with no real answers available. I would love to know what actually happened.
So if you do not require a happily-ever-after and love reading about history, check this book out for yourself.
About the Author
Susan Barnett Braun earned a BS in retail management from Indiana University and an MA in education from the University of Alabama. She taught for eight years in northeast Indiana, earning a Lilly Endowment Teacher Creativity Fellowship and a National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Study Scholarship. Susan has had work published in Parents, Children’s Ministry, and The Secret Place. She also writes online for Fort Wayne Visitor’s Bureau and blogs at Girls in White Dresses. She is married with three wonderful young adult daughters. Susan enjoys reading, playing piano and organ, and spending her time with her family and pets (currently three rabbits and a chinchilla).
Guest Post from Susan
I first learned about King Ludwig II of Bavaria, Germany, while I was a high school German student. He fascinated me then, and he has continued to through several decades now.
Ludwig is a hero to the Bavarian people. In America, we too have our heroes: George Washington, Abraham Lincoln. But Ludwig was different. He was so eccentric and unusual that I found him impossible to ignore. As a teacher, I taught my students about this fascinating king each year. They, too, loved him. I decided to write Not So Happily Ever After so that teens could be introduced to Ludwig as I had been. However, since the book has come out, a majority of its readers have been adults.
What makes Ludwig so compelling? Oh, where to begin? There are many quirky anecdotes about him: he once invited his favorite horse to dinner in the palace, complete with china and crystal. Ludwig insisted on hiding behind large floral arrangements when he was forced to attend state dinners. He preferred to work at night and sleep during the day.
The king built wonderful castles. His most famous, Neuschwanstein, inspired even the talented Walt Disney. If you’ve visited Disneyland or Disney World, the castles at those parks are the Disney version of Ludwig’s real-life home.
Ludwig has an air of mystery too, continuing to his still-unexplained death. ”I want to remain an eternal mystery to myself and others,” he once famously said.
You’ll have to read the book to learn more. I can pretty much guarantee that this king, who has been dead now for over 130 years, will pique your interest. I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if you decided to start planning a trip to Bavaria to see Ludwig’s castles in person once you finish reading …
Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, January 3
A Reader’s Brain, January 3
Real World Bible Study, January 4
Inklings and notions, January 5
Ashley’s Bookshelf, January 6
Genesis 5020, January 7
Rebekah’s Quill, January 7
All-of-a-kind Mom, January 8
Random Thoughts From a Bookworm, January 9
Bigreadersite, January 9
Carpe Diem, January 9
Just the Write Escape, January 10
A Baker’s Perspective, January 11
Mary Hake, January 11
Bibliophile Reviews, January 12
Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, January 13
Texas Book-aholic, January 14
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, January 15
Janices book reviews, January 16
To celebrate her tour, Susan is giving away a grand prize of a world/globe necklace and a paperback copy of the book!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/d8a1/not-so-happily-ever-after-celebration-tour-giveaway