A Novel

Book - 2012
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Baker & Taylor
In a tale set against a backdrop of pre-World War II turbulence in England and Edward VIII's scandalous affair, a fatherless chauffeur shares an undeclared love with a complex Oxford undergraduate, a housekeeper hides her Nazi sympathies and a woman struggles with escalating tensions in her friendship with Wallace Simpson.

& Taylor

In the pre-World War II turbulence of England, a fatherless chauffeur shares an undeclared love with an Oxford undergraduate, a housekeeper hides her Nazi sympathies, and a woman struggles with escalating tensions in a friendship.

Simon and Schuster
“Goodness, Abdication really is good. I’m in awe of Juliet’s ability” (Jessica Fellowes,New York Times bestselling author of The World of Downton Abbey).

England, 1936.

A beloved king is dead, and by year’s end, the charismatic new monarch will give up his throne for love. The world is on the brink of war. And in the tumultuous intervening months, three outsiders will find themselves embroiled in the hidden truths, undeclared loves, unspoken sympathies, and covert complicities of a glittering high society in the throes of upheaval.

After a long journey from her home in Barbados, May Thomas secures a position as a secretary and driver and opens her heart to a man seemingly beyond her reach. Outwardly affable American spinster Evangeline Nettlefold finds her place in the uppermost social circles, but her growing resentment toward her childhood friend Wallis Simpson predicts disaster. A friendship catapults Julian Richardson from his mother’s middle-class parlor to luxurious dinners with the king, yet he cannot forget those who struggle outside the gilded gates, nor his uneasy affection for May.

As addictive as Downton Abbey, as poignant as The Remains of the Day, renowned historian Juliet Nicolson’s debut novel is a breathtaking story inspired by a love affair that shook the world at a time when order and chaos battled for supremacy.

Publisher: New York : Atria Books, 2012
Edition: 1st Atria Books hardcover ed
ISBN: 9781451664799
Branch Call Number: FIC NICOLSON
Characteristics: 344 p. ;,24 cm


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Jan 30, 2014

This is a very"thin" novel.Historical characters are placed in the book but there is no real character development. The abdication is almost an afterthought to try to hold your attention.

hgeng63 Sep 04, 2013

I can't really recommend this because the author is unecessarily cruel to Evangeline, & the relationship between May & Julian ends anti-climatically. There are some nice historical details, though.

Jun 03, 2012

The title to this book is deceiving since the abdication of King Edward is only a small part of the book. I was disappointed and finished the book with a sense that I didn't even know what it was about.


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