Sunday, March 23, 2008


Pages: 613
Date: 23/03/2008
Grade: 4.5
Details: Large Print edition

Laurie Graham is very good at this, her chosen genre; fiction based on historical fact.
In this instalment we take a look at the meeting, courting and relationship between Wallis Simpson and the man who should have been King Edward VIII. We see events unfold on the journal pages of Maybell Brumby, a fictional childhood friend of Wallis' from Boston.
Maybell moves from Boston to London soon after her husband's death and quickly falls in with Wallis Simpson and her husband Ernest. They have ambitions of moving up in society, and getting close to the future king of England seems a good way to reach their goal, with Wallis more then happy to rely on Maybell's money to achieve her aim. The result of the plotting is now part of history, and doesn't need expanding on.
Maybell is a wonderful character to be telling this story. She is a naive American, like a fish out of water when it comes to English society in between the two world wars, (world) politics and financial affairs, yet fully convinced that she knows it all better then others and that her views are the only right ones.
Yet, at the same time, underneath her arrogance and small-mindedness, she has a heart of gold and great loyalty.
What made this book exceptional is that I had to keep on reminding herself that the whole Maybell part of the book was fiction rather then fact. I call that quite an accomplishment.

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