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The FitzOsbornes in Exile (The Montmaray Journals #2)

4.06  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,302 Ratings  ·  334 Reviews
Michelle Cooper combines the drama of pre-War Europe with the romance of debutante balls and gives us another compelling historical page turner.

Sophia FitzOsborne and the royal family of Montmaray escaped their remote island home when the Germans attacked, and now find themselves in the lap of luxury. Sophie's journal fills us in on the social whirl of London's 1937 season
Paperback, 450 pages
Published March 13th 2012 by Ember (first published January 1st 2010)
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Jun 12, 2011 Mariel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: shy girls
Recommended to Mariel by: a little book worm (me)
Dear sir or friend,
I am a princess in exile. My family cannot access our funds unless you, a kind American, will launder money through your bank account and send letterhead, bank statements and personal documents. Thank you for helping.

the FitzOsbournes

I don't know why they didn't just send out a letter like this, if they needed money so bad. I get them all of the time. And prince and princesses? Please. Like every African in London is an exiled prince. They need to come up with a bett
Alex Baugh
Feb 08, 2012 Alex Baugh rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: world-war-2
At the end of The Brief History of Montmaray, the first book in the (thus far) trilogy about the FitzOsbornes, royal family of the Kingdom of Montmaray, they were running for their lives in the midst of a Luftwaffe attack. Book 2, The FitzOsbornes in Exile, continues following these royals after their safe arrival in London as recorded by Sophia FitzOsborne in her journal.

Now, it is 1937 and the FitzOsbornes have found refuge at Aunt Charlotte’s Milford Park estate in Dorset. Sophie has been lo
Feb 19, 2011 Catriona rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am physically shaking. My heart is racing. My hands (and feet) are sweating.

I have just completed the second Montmaray Journal and I am bursting with love, if Michelle Cooper keeps popping emotionally gripping books like this, I think I might just explode. With love and passion and any other word that means endless devotion to a novel.

I’m actually seriously considering finding her “official fan site” or, even better, her email address and sending her my deepest appreciation. I physically can
Sep 21, 2011 Reynje rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: See below
Recommended to Reynje by: Myself, because I'm a history nerd
3.5 stars

In lieu of, or until I write a proper review, I thought I’d write a recommendation for the Montmaray books (and yes, I’m aware that I’m cheating here by incorporating books 1 and 2 into one review..)

You may enjoy A Brief History of Montmaray and The FitzOsbornes in Exile if you like reading about / are a fan of / are interested in:

Dodie Smith’s I Capture the Castle
Meticulously researched historical fiction
Holy-Grail-hunting Fascists
Unrequited love
The Spanish Civil War
Picasso’s Guernica
Jul 10, 2011 Kathryn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, ya
The sequel to the excellent A Brief History of Montmaray (and which will, based on the ending and the #2 in the title, become part of a trilogy, I assume) is just as charming, compelling, thoughtful and engaging as is predecessor. I think it could be read as a stand-alone, but really there is no reason not to read the first book first as it is excellent!

Here we find the FitzOsbornes entering adulthood dealing with life under their proper aunt's control in elegant London *and* threats of a second
This second Montmaray Journal explodes from the start, using Cooper's work in A Brief History of Montmaray as a fabulous jumping off point. Sophie, Veronica, Toby, and Simon, now living in exile in England, struggle to make sense of a world in which World War II seems more inevitable with every passing moment. Meanwhile, Sophie attempts to find her place in the debutante society of London and to understand the fast pace of the world away from Montmaray. This book is packed full of historical eve ...more
Dec 7, 2013

It's not just a gorgeous cover. Cooper is really good at creating historical characters expressing progressive views, and showing how unappreciated that is by their contemporaries. Even how dangerous that can be.

Library copy.
Feb 15, 2012 Ann rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of the first book, fans of strong, thoughtful, protagonists who try to do the right thing
Another fantastic installment to the “Montmaray” series!

Here, in book II, we find the FitzOsbornes living in England after their home/island kingdom was destroyed and taken over by Nazi Germans.

The FitzOsbornes have many obstacles and decisions to face: how to regain their beloved Montmaray; how to help innocent children forced to flee their countries and seek refuge in England; and how to do all this whilst not tipping off their stuffy aunt who is housing the FitzOsbornes and who controls all
Oct 11, 2010 Josie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those who like I Capture the Castle and The Pursuit of Love
Well I was glad to note that for this second book concerning the FitzOsbornes, the author acknowledged (in a way) I Capture the Castle, because there are some strong similarities, this time even down to the opening sentence ('I write this sitting...'). But it does, however, have plenty of its own originality. There was perhaps a little too much political talk for my liking, but the characterisation was very strong, and Sophia had a pleasant and likeable voice. I assume there will be more books t ...more
Jun 11, 2011 Melee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Even better than the first one! Sophie's character has matured a lot, I think; she was much more relatable than I remembered her being in the first book. (This most likely has something to do with her no longer perpetually pining for Simon.) Several times her insight and observations reminded me of Cassandra Mortmain.

Michelle Cooper did a great job with the setting again. Not only did she wonderfully conjure the stifling high society of the times, but also more important things, such as the pol
Another compulsively readable installment, which I think benefits from its narrator being that little bit more mature and capable of more thoroughly appreciating some of the things going on around her. Parts of the book do drag somewhat if you already know what's going on at this time in European history, and I know that I got pulled out of things a little by the cameos made by some of the Kennedy clan—it's hard not to have the fact Kick Kennedy will be dead in a few years at the back of your mi ...more
I liked the first book in this trilogy, but I LOVED this one. I felt like all the characters were able to come into their own. Sophie was finally seeing how she fit into the family dynamic, Toby and Veronica and Simon all matured and Henry was my absolute favorite! Her girl guide troop made me howl with laughter, as did most of all her dialogue. I really enjoyed the descriptions of London and Milford, as well as the generous sprinkling of integrating real people into the plot. This book felt lik ...more
Jan 23, 2011 Lynn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I think I enjoyed this second book even more than the first and I adored the first! Cooper does an exceptional job of showing us how Sophie, all the characters but especially Sophie, grows and develops so believable. The political maneuvering was so intriguing and the actual history and sense of the time is woven in so well. Our knowledge of the events to come makes the events so powerful. I am ready to trek to Australia to get my hands on the third book sooner! Well, I'd love to visit Australia ...more
Feb 14, 2015 Morgan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Probably the only reason I didn't give this 5 stars (even though I loved it) is because I had kind of forgotten where the last one left off because I read it a while ago. For obvious reasons, this left me slightly confused, but eventually everything came back into place! Sometime before the 100 page mark, this book got real good plot-wise (I had already remembered what had happened previously). And now I'm upset that I didn't check out the third book in conjunction with this one.

I just. This ser
Jun 16, 2015 Alicia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

The second Montmoray book finds Sophie and her family in England in 1937 and 1938, and besides being generally delightful and charming, there are plenty of references to the Mitfords and the Kennedys (Kick Kennedy is actually a character and JFK appears a couple times too--DID YOU KNOW that Kick Kennedy and Pamela Mitford were sisters-in-law? I mean, a few years after the events of this novel). I freaking love Mitfords and Kennedys. ANYWAY. A lot of times
4.5 stars
I am COMPLETELY in love with this one. Where book one was sometimes long winded descriptions with not much going on, this one was all SASS and PLOT and HISTORY. But history in an interesting, fun sense. Not in the hit-over-the-head-with-dry-boring-hardback sense.
-Veronica: is so badass in this novel. Like moments when she outsmarts completely EVERYONE who underestimates her, it is glorious.
-Henry: plays a smaller part in this novel, which is sad because she's so funny. She is scarily
May 09, 2011 Deborah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A friend of mine recommended A Brief History of Montmaray as a "not-princessy" princess tale late last year. That book was easily one of my top ten favorite books of all time, and likely within my top five. (I've not gotten around to doing a proper list, hence the uncertainty. ;)

Part of what made A Brief History of Montmaray so compelling and charming to me was its location: the island of Montmaray, which Sophia--the narrator--and her small, spirited family continued to inhabit despite the corre
Originally reviewed on The Book Smugglers

January 1937. The FitzOsbornes have narrowly escaped their beloved home Montmaray with their lives, and have taken refuge with their only surviving relative, Aunt Charlotte (aka the Crown Princess) in the comforts of her extensive English countryside estate. Here, Sophia, Veronica, Toby, and Harry (and of course, alleged half-brother Simon Chester) struggle to their new lifestyle - the decadence of British high society a far cry from their crumbling castl
May 22, 2011 Kate rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011, young-adult
I have to talk about Sophie, because Sophie is these books. Oh, Sophie. I freaking love Sophie. I love that she is smart. I love that no one ever gives her credit for being smart, and she just lets it roll off her back. I love that she is so open-minded. I love that she is the glue that holds her whole family and, by extension, her whole country and its history together. And I love, maybe more than anything else, that she knows what she wants and what’s important and she fights and works toward ...more
When I reviewed Michelle Cooper’s A Brief History of Montmaray, I hadn’t yet read the follow-up. In fact, I hadn’t even realized there was going to be a follow-up until right before I wrote my review. And then no bookstores had a copy of The FitzOsbornes in Exile. I know, because I went to six of them. I ended up having to order it online (which always annoys me) and then wait for it to come (which annoys me even more) before I finally got to pour through it in one night of ridiculous excitement ...more
Sue Bursztynski
May 21, 2011 Sue Bursztynski rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a sequel to "Montmaray" and is the journal of Sophie, princess of a very small kingdom, the island of Montmaray which has been taken over by the Nazis. The royal family of Montmaray live in a castle all right, but that's as royal as they get. There's housework to do and goats to look after. In this novel, Sophie and her family have had to flee their home to England, where they stay with a family member and live like aristocrats for the first time, as Sophie's cousin Veronica embarrasses ...more
Gail Gauthier
Oct 18, 2012 Gail Gauthier rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"At one point, the main character is asked if she's been reading Machiavelli. "No," she says, "I'm reading Regency Buck, by Georgette Heyer....and it's got Beau Brummell in it." Regency Buck was published in 1935, making it a likely choice of reading material for a young society woman living in the late 1930s. And note that Sophia points out that the book includes Beau Brummell, who might be described as more of a historical celebrity than historical figure. She's mentioning a book that uses a r ...more
Ginny Messina
Oct 02, 2012 Ginny Messina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The princesses and king of Montmaray are exiled to England where poor Aunt Charlotte (who is a hoot) is tasked with trying to find husbands for debutantes Sophie and Veronica (the latter is far more interested in politics than ball gowns, and is a bit too opinionated for polite society) as well as a wife for King Tobias ( who in fact, would rather have a husband). This is pre-WWII England where Sophie brushes up against the Kennedys and the Mitfords. Again, wonderful characters (I loved Rupert, ...more
Dec 10, 2015 Erica rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya-fiction, 2015
One of the best historical fiction novels I've read: seamless integration of fact and fiction, engaging narrator, and a+ feminism
Feb 12, 2011 LauraW rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
I just finished the FitzOsbornes in Exile by Michelle Cooper. I liked it, but it seemed much less focused than the first book - until the end. It felt like the middle book of a trilogy - most of the characters had been introduced in the first book; a few were added or fleshed out here, but no major developments with them. There were minor developments and minor actions, but the story seems to still be waiting for bigger conclusion. Maybe it is just the looming of World War II. We know it is comi ...more
Beth Bonini
Nov 09, 2015 Beth Bonini rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
After a dramatic rescue from Montmaray and the vengeful Germans, Sophie and her family are settled into Aunt Charlotte's luxurious Dorset estate. Aunt Charlotte is determined to give Sophie and her cousin Veronica a "Season" -- and launch these reluctant débutantes into successful (ie, rich and titled) marriages. Of course, the girls have very strong minds of their own. Romance is a subtle element of this novel, but this is definitely not a marriage plot!

Set during the 18 months before England e
I very much enjoyed the first book in this series, but OH did I love this one! It matured just the right amount, and was the perfect mix of 'frivolous' things with the drama and hardships of the impending war. I think I love pretty much every character in this book, how unique they are and how they all interact. There was a little romance, a little drama, a little intrigue, a good dose of politics, and of course several thrilling interjections of feminism despite the time period. I just really, ...more
I absolutely adored this book. While I enjoyed this book much more that "A Brief History of Montmaray", it was necessary to read the prequel to full appreciate the sequel.

I highly recommend this book as it is a great read that you can pick up at any time. As I'm back at school, I have only had time to read on the bus and occasionally in class. However, this did not reduce my appreciation for this novel at all. It is a great novel if you're busy but still want something to read on the go.

In my
I don't have words for how much I loved this book and for how badly I didn't want it to end. I simply love all of the FitzOsborne children (the legitimate and illegitimate ones), but I think Sophia pulled ahead as my favorite in this one. Machiavelli disguised as a debutante. It doesn't get better than that. I love, love, love the family dynamics in this one, also Toby in love is the greatest and Veronica is my favorite when Sophia isn't.
In summary: probably one of my favorite books ever.
Jun 07, 2012 Melanie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012-reads
As I read this on trains from London to various destinations in the UK, I loved the bits about life in London and nearby towns. As a discerning (adult?) reader, though, I started to get a little fatigued by all of the increasingly improbable drama. Mad women locked in attics (er, asylums), attempted murder, rogue Nazis, and a harrowing journey to beseech the League of Nations for help, all in the middle of a costume drama? Even my incredulity was strained, which is saying something.
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Michelle Cooper writes novels for teenagers. She is the award-winning author of A Brief History of Montmaray, The FitzOsbornes in Exile and The Rage of Sheep.

More Info:
Michelle was born in Sydney, Australia in 1969. She attended a succession of schools in Fiji and country New South Wales, then went to university in Sydney. She started a Pharmacy degree, but didn't like it very much. She dropped ou
More about Michelle Cooper...

Other Books in the Series

The Montmaray Journals (3 books)
  • A Brief History of Montmaray (The Montmaray Journals, #1)
  • The FitzOsbornes at War (The Montmaray Journals, #3)

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“Simon called you 'Machiavelli disguised as a debutante.'" "Gosh," I said, not sure whether to feel flattered or insulted.” 29 likes
“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife,' I said, sighing.
'Is it?' said Veronica, looking surprised. 'Universally acknowledged? Surely that presupposes life similar to human societies beyond this planet, and besides--'
'No, no, it's a quote from ... Never mind,' I said.”
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