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, glamorou ...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
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 t...more
First, we meet May Thomas, newly arrived in England from the island of Barbados, who along with her brother ...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
What I liked:
- The period setting. Not enough fiction has been set in this period IMO. I couldn't manage to watch Downton Abbey (sorry DA fans, but it just felt like a cartoon to me, and not half as compelling as a decent book), b ...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
"Abdication", set in England in 1936, follows three interesting, somewhat off-beat characters. Barbados-native May Thomas, who has come to England with her brother, Sam. Their English mother had met and married a plantation owner from ...more
The writing was really, really mediocre - not quite Syrie-James or Meyer bad, but way below the standard of even most typical YA. I mean, Shannon Hale, Patricia Wrede, J.K. Rowling (duh), Mary Hooper all outdo Nicolson by MILES. Literally miles. And Nicolson does so much telling, and so little showing, that it was toug ...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
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
At first I thought I'll never try another of her books, but since this was her first novel, I will reserve judgment on future books. If the story looks appealing, I'll give it a try, but I'll know in the first 50 pages whether I wanted to continue.
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