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Eager reader of history, mystery, classics, biographies, steampunk, lit fic, science, scifi, and etc. My reviews are mostly positive--I rarely finish or write about books I don't enjoy. My TBR is too high for that.


Abdication - Juliet Nicolson

One king dies and his eldest son ascends to the throne and then abdicates in order to marry a woman who apparently tries to convince him to do otherwise. Oswald Mosley and his blackshirt fascists are gaining strength, but the Spanish Civil War is inspiring young men to fight for an opposite cause.


Britain in the tumultuous year of 1936 is the backdrop for this novel, and as in her two riviting nonfiction accounts of the times on either side of WWI, author Juliet Nicolson includes a wealth of fascinating day to day detail about the era between the two world wars.This world is seen through the eyes of three main characters, May Thomas, a young woman from Barbados who is now working as a driver and secretary to Lord Philip Blunt, Evangeline Nettlefold from Baltimore, who's an eccentric somewhat unstable friend of the King's current love interest Wallis Simpson, and Julian Richardson, an idealistic young man who goes to school with Lord Blunt's son.


For me these characters didn't come to life as vividly as the characters in Nicolson's nonfiction and the story didn't make me care much about what happened to them, but while I enjoy Nicholson's earlier works more, Abdication still provides a well-researched look at a compelling period of history. As someone intrigued by the Mitford sisters, it's a plus to see Diana Mitford's husband Oswald Mosley in action, and it was entertaining to have some of the historical characters from Nicholson's earlier books, like Duff and Diana Cooper, show up in these pages.