“A novel of Wallis Simpson, Duchess of Windsor” says the cover, so you’d think this book would be about Wallis when she is the Duchess of Windsor, wouldn’t you? Well guess what, there’s a second book planned, so this one only covers Wallis during her school years, her disastrous first marriage to Win Spencer with a tiny bit at the end for marriage #2 and her first meeting with the Prince of Wales. If you know your history you’ve got a fair idea what this novel entails, and if you don’t – then I’m not going to spoil it with things you don’t want to know prior to reading it. I’ll save every one’s time and just talk about the reading experience.
Unfortunately, I don’t think there is enough story potential in Wallis’ school years and first marriage to fill a 400+ page book, I’d have preferred a quick recap of these *early years* and then get to the meat of the story. Perhaps it’s just me, but I don’t find endless tea and cocktail parties all that exciting, YMMV. This book had far too much foreshadowing with predictions for Wallis’ future, along with her endless fascination with the Prince of Wales. I’m not sure if the trip to China actually happened, but boy that trip sure ended fast once the author got in what she wanted – a meeting with an ancient Chinese fortuneteller just to tell us readers of What. Is. To. Come. Lastly, while I understand this is a fictional imagining of Wallis’ life, this reader felt there was far too much imagining going on with too many fictional characters. Library only, then buy it if you love it, although it appears I’m very much in the minority on this one. 2/5 stars.
Reviewed for Amazon Vine.