Sunday, July 19, 2020

✱✱Book Review✱✱ 2020 Summer Reads Blog Tour: Bryn Turnbull’s THE WOMAN BEFORE WALLIS

THE WOMAN BEFORE WALLIS Author: Bryn Turnbull ISBN: 9780778361022 Publication Date: July 21, 2020 Publisher: MIRA Books

An irresistible historical debut, THE WOMAN BEFORE WALLIS (MIRA Trade Paperback; July 21, 2020) is set in the glamorous world of British and American royalty in the 1920s, based on the true story of the woman who owned Prince Edward's heart before introducing him to her dear friend Wallis. Perfect for fans of Netflix’s The Crown and Jennifer Robson’s The Gown.

Before Edward, Prince of Wales famously abdicated his throne for American divorcee Wallis Simpson, he loved another American woman: Thelma Morgan Furness, sister to the first Gloria Vanderbilt. This is her story.

The daughters of an American diplomat, Thelma and Gloria Morgan were stars of New York social scene in the early 1920s, dubbed “the magnificent Morgans.” Both would marry into wealth and privilege beyond their imaginations, Gloria to Reggie Vanderbilt, and Thelma to a viscount. Thelma begins an affair with Edward, the dashing Prince of Wales, that will last nearly five years.

Then, in 1934, Thelma's life is upended by her sister Gloria's custody trial — a headline-grabbing drama known as The Matter of Vanderbilt, which dominates global news for months and raises the bar for tabloid sensationalism. Back in New York, sued by members of her late husband's family on charges of negligence, unfit parenting and homosexuality, Gloria needs her twin's support more than ever. But as her sister gains international notoriety, Thelma fears that her own fall from grace might not be far behind.

Momma Says: 4 stars⭐⭐
There's nothing like a juicy bit of gossip to take you away from it all, and that's kind of what The Woman Before Wallis feels like to me. It's kind of like the world stands ready to soak it up every time a royal or the elite messes up, and that's where this one takes us. The story moves along at a good pace, it's well-written, and it's an entertaining way to while away a weekend. I don't read a lot of historical fiction because I get irritated when too many liberties are taken. That said, Bryn Turnbull explains the liberties she took with this story, but even if she hadn't, this one is a bit out of my wheelhouse, so I wasn't looking for said liberties. Honestly, I would say don't read it for the historical accuracy. Instead, read it for the entertainment, the feeling of looking inside the messes made by the rich and powerful, the intriguing characters, love them or hate them (and there are some of both), they are intriguing. All in all, it's an interesting bit of historical fiction that kept me interested til the very last page.

Bryn Turnbull is a writer of historical fiction with a penchant for fountain pens and antique furniture. Equipped with a Master of Letters in Creative Writing from the University of St. Andrews, a Master of Professional Communication from Ryerson University, and a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature from McGill University, Bryn focuses on finding the stories of women found within the cracks of the historical record. When she’s not writing, Bryn can be found exploring new coffee shops, spending time with her family in cottage country, or traveling. She lives in Toronto, and can generally be found with a book in hand.


Social Links:

Author Website

Twitter: @BrynTurnbull

Instagram: @brynturnbullwrites

Facebook: @brynturnbullwrites


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