The year began with the death of a beloved king and the ascension of a charismatic young monarch, sympathetic to the needs of the working class, glamorous and single. By year's end, the world would be stunned as it witnessed that new leader give up his throne in the name of love, just as the unrest and violence that would result in a Second World War were...more
I read the first 60% of the book and I felt like a cheerleader for 50% of it. It was tiring! I kept hoping, praying, eventually pleading for the characters to ignite some kind of spark inside of me, just some...more
I have made the executive decision to stop reading Abdication. As any book-worm knows, it is almost shameful to leave a book unfinished. I could not engage with the story (or should I say stories), and I could not engage with the characters. I didn't particularly enjoy the author's writing style or the way the plot seemed to jump from character to character and place to place. I think if the author had stuck to one story-line and focused just on that, using secondar...more
The plot, as one might guess from the title, is built around the events of the year 1936 -- from the death of George V to the abdication of Edward VIII. May, a young woman from Barbados, arrives with her brother just before the old King dies, gets a chauffeur/secretary job with a high-level MP, and is able to observe many of the events...more
Ms. Nicholson attempts to place several fictional characters near the inner circle of England's King Edward VIII and his gir...more
You will follow boat trips across the ocean carrying two different women from different locations but both ending in London and meeting by chance. You will meet May, Sam, Evangeline, Wallis, and other family members and friends that are weaved into a beautiful, historical story...more
First, we meet May Thomas, newly arrived in England from the island of Barbados, who along with her brother...more
What do you say when you have high hopes for a juicy steak full of flavor and discover it has been replaced with soy protein? That is how I felt about Juliet Nicolson's foray into fiction . . . blah.
That is not to say that there isn't a story here among the ramblings and character sketches that are less than sketches. The moments between Wallis and the Prince of Wales are perfect right down to the smallest details of how Wallis briefly touched the Prince's hand to get him to stop smoking at th...more
The story opens with May, who has recently arrived from Barbados, acting as a chauffeur for Sir Philip Blunt....more
The title refers to the abdication of the British throne by King Edward VIII because he could not be king and marry Wallis Simpson, an American divorcee. Although it is the important glue that holds Abdication together, it is a minor part of the story.
This historical romance instead features young May, a British subject born and raised in Barbados on a sugar pla...more
In 1936, May Thomas finds herself traveling to England in search of work, and inadvertently becomes tangled in history as it is happening. She becomes a chauffeur to a family closely associated with King Edward and Wallis Simpson, a woman determined to have whatever she wants regardless of the consequences. May knows and accepts her position to keep a low profile, and whatever she happens to see to herself. Yet watching...more
There are two main characters, one is a fictional friend of Wallis Simpson and the other is a young female who is hired as a secretary and driver for a member of the British Parliament. Unfortunately, the first one is portrayed almost exclusively as a car...more
This memorable and epic event, seen through the eyes of the main character, May Thomas, begins with her employment as a chauffeur by Sir Philip Blunt, a government official who is close to the affair. May meets Wallis when she brings Mrs Nettlefold, an old friend of Wallis, to the Fort, where Prince Edward has taken up residence. May also meets Julian,...more
History brought to life. The historical details are brilliantly accurate and well researched.
Brilliantly written. Ms. Nicolson is an educated woman with the ability to write well.
Interesting historical events.
Learning about the naughty behavior of the royals is captivating.
Diving into the lavish life of a royal is fun abd exciting.
Cons: cold, emotionally under d...more
My Rating: 2.5 out 5
Overall, this wasn't exactly a page turner. Although it is well written and full of detailed descriptions. I started to read this thinking that the plot was intriguing and I was eager to see how the characters' lives were influenced by this particular event in British history.
Nicholson's characters were full of detail. She provides structured background information about them, detailing their lives up to the small things that lead them...more
I enjoyed this book a lot more than I thought I would. I know very little about Wallis Simpson and the king who abdicated his throne for her, so this was quite interesting. I don't know how accurate the factual events were related in this book, but from accounts, this is a reliable author who does her homework.
The book spans the year before the abdication as is related by Mae, Evangeline, and Julian. Mae is a young woman from Barbados who has been hir...more
You all know that I enjoy historical fiction a lot. I think that it is compelling when it follows histori...more
Most baffling was the weird treatment of sex - the protagonist's dad is clearly UP TO NO GOOD, but he'll just breathe on your and pet your hair in a creepy way. I feel like the author wanted to give our heroine a tragic backstory, but not TOO tragic. What we end up with is a girl who is seemingly damaged from abuse becoming really sex-positive after crushing on some dude for...more