Genre: Historical Fiction
Length: 448 pages
First Published: 2012
I would have never read this novel if I it hadn't been recommended to me by someone. England's history has never been one of my interests. I don't I will ever pick up a book on the English history and read it for pleasure. This book though, was actually pretty decent. Here is what the novel is about.
"Two lovers. Two very different lives. One future together that will change history.
When debutante Wallis Simpson is growing up, she devotes her teenage daydreams to one man, the future King of England, Prince Edward. But it's Pamela Holtby, Wallis's aristocratic best friend, who mixes within the palace circle. Wallis's first marriage to a dashing young naval pilot is not what she dreamt of; he turns out to be a dominating bully of a man, who punishes her relentlessly. But her fated marriage does open a suprising door, to the world of Navy couriers – where navy wives are being used to transport messages around the world. This interesting turn of fate takes Wallis from the exuberant social scene in Washington to a China that is just emerging from civil war. Edward in the meantime is busy fulfilling his royal duties – and some extra-curricular ones involving married women. Until the day, just before he ascends the throne as Edward VIII, he is introduced to a very special married woman, Wallis Simpson.
Was Wallis Simpson really the monster the royal family perported her to be? Or was she an extraordinary woman who led an unimaginable life? A dramatic novel, that crosses continents and provides a unique insight into one of history’s most charismatic and multi-faceted women." (GoodReads)
One of the most tiring parts of the book is the fact that Walli and Edward just meet at the end of the novel. To wait a whole novel for the ultimate core of a novel is just excruciatingly painful. I hope I never have to read another novel like this one again, as far as this perspective is concerned.
On the other hand, the novel does delve into the coming of age of Walli's life. This novel focuses on who she was when she met Edward, rather than who she becomes after she meets Edward. I think it's an interesting take. Afterall, it does matter who we end up when we cross paths with others.
Additionally, Walli seizes every possibility given to her to get where she is when she meets Edward. She's fierce, ambitious, and driven. With a character like that you grow to love the novel, which is what happened to me.
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