The Duchess – Wendy Holden

Another fabulous five star read from Wendy Holden.  For those that follow my posts you’ll probably already know I’m slightly obsessed with historical fiction, and I’m also slightly obsessed with the Royal Family…….so put those two things together and look out……I’m hooked 🙂

The author’s previous book, The Governess, was my first five star read for the year and I was so looking forward to her next book The Duchess and it certainly didn’t disappoint.

The Duchess follows the life of Wallis Simpson, most famously known for being the reason behind why the then Prince of Wales abdicated the throne in 1936 and therefore throwing Elizabeth into the role as Queen at such a young age.

It was an absolute scandal in the history of the Royal Family and I found this read truly fascinating as I followed Wallis’ life and how this poor, divorced woman from the US could appear to wield such power over the Prince Edward.  It was certainly an eye opener and I was honestly shocked as I learnt more around how it all came about.

The writing is mesmerising once again and completely draws you in.  I’m still so torn about how I personally feel about Wallis but that’s what also made this book so wonderful, her character, flaws and all, fully came to life in front of you.  She certainly comes across as a social climber willing to do whatever it takes to better her life and position, irrespective of who is hurt in the process.  Clearly disliked by the Monarchy for the part she played, it certainly appears that the Prince of Wales was not without fault in this situation too.

Told in alternating timelines from 1972 at the Duke of Windsor’s funeral to the late 1920’s through mid 1930’s when the then King Edward abdicates the throne.

A fascinating look into the class system in England and a wonderful behind the scenes look into another part of the Royal Family.

For fans out there of the Netflix series The Crown, this is an absolute must read.  Loved, loved, loved it.

I can’t wait for her next book in the trilogy which will be based on the early life of Princess Diana.

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