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The FitzOsbornes at War (The Montmaray Journals #3)

4.19  ·  Rating Details ·  1,875 Ratings  ·  305 Reviews
Michelle Cooper completes her heart-stealing epic drama of history and romance with The FitzOsbornes at War.

Sophie FitzOsborne and the royal family of Montmaray escaped their remote island home when the Nazis attacked. But as war breaks out in England and around the world, nowhere is safe. Sophie fills her journal with tales of a life during wartime. Blackouts and the Bl
Paperback, 560 pages
Published October 8th 2013 by Ember (first published October 9th 2012)
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Alexandra I think she might have gotten inspiration from "I Capture the Castle," by Dodie Smith.
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The third and final volume of the Montmaray Journals lands squarely at the intersection of what I wanted this book to be, and what I think it needed to be. Happily, those were not mutually exclusive outcomes, although “happily” feels like the wrong word to use. Because the ending of the trilogy was bittersweet, as most good endings are.

It’s difficult to review The FitzOsbornes at War in great detail because SPOILERS, and not just for this book but for all three, as they are very connected. Howe
Apr 02, 2012 Kace rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
December 12, 2013

This is Exhibit A in the case for adults reading YA. Like The Hunger Games, there's no wincing away from the horrors of war. There's a little bit of romance, but as in Rosamund Pilcher's The Shell Seekers or Coming Home, (which were not published as YA, but as women's fiction), the narrative remains focused on a young woman in wartime, and how that particular war dragged on so long that individuals held many different kinds of jobs and faced different kinds of hardships at diffe
Jan 04, 2013 Emily rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, wwii
This was best of the trilogy, a sweeping and sometimes quite moving view of WWII from the perspective of the British home front. It was a book I was eager to return to after putting it down in a way that I haven't felt very often recently. However, given the power, I'd excise every mention of Kathleen "Kick" Kennedy, and the progress of her romance. This strand of the story was completely extraneous, awkwardly tacked on, and I felt as though Michelle Cooper was winking over Sophie's head wheneve ...more
Originally reviewed on The Book Smugglers

3rd September 1939

I'm quite sure that, in twenty or thirty years' time, people will say about this morning, "I'll never forget where I was when I heard the news."

So begins The FitzOsbornes at War, with the news of British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain announcing that the country at long last is at war with Germany. Sophie FitzOsborne may be a princess, but she and the rest of her family have been in exile from their invaded homeland for two years. Wh
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.

Solid 4.5 stars.

Okay,onto the review now. So if you are reading this book/looking into reading this book/deciding whether or not you want to read this book that someone has reccomended to you, then you have obviously read book one and book two and have fallen in love with Sophie and her family and friends, yes? No? Okay, first go read a brief history of montmaray and then the fitzosbornes in exile and
Alex Baugh
Oct 05, 2012 Alex Baugh rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: world-war-2
The Fitzosbornes, royal family of that small fictional Channel island Montmaray, are back in this third and last book of the trilogy. As you may recall in Book I, A Brief History of Montmaray, the FitzOsbornes - Toby, Sophie, Henry (Henrietta), cousin Veronica and half cousin Simon - were forced by the Nazis to leave their island home and head for London.

And in Book II, The FitzOsbornes in Exile, we found them hobnobbing between London and their Aunt Charlotte's Milford Park estate in Dorset. Ho
Jul 29, 2012 Arianna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Arianna by: herhairgrowsback on tumblr
4.5 stars, actually. This book is, by far, the best of the trilogy. It is the most exciting, the one that most of all will keep you awake at night to read more, because you need to know what's happening to the characters, you need to know that your favourites are okay - but then again, they all are your favourites because they're all flawed and terribly lovely for one reason or another. Except for Rupert, maybe, whose only flaw is his shiness and is entirely perfect in my eyes. Okay, back to the ...more
Apr 25, 2012 Emily rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya, 2012
Sometimes I think I'm consistently giving books too many stars, so maybe now I'm just being overly harsh here. Maybe I really want to give this 3.5 stars, and round it up to 4? I did love bits of the sparkling dialogue, and the first two thirds especially were good with creating atmosphere.

Maybe the problem is that the book tries to cover too much in too short a space. The thing is, even though it made me cry, it still felt less substantial - more corporeal if not more light - than I'd expected
Oct 10, 2012 kris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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Apr 07, 2012 victoria.p rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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Deva Fagan
Aug 06, 2012 Deva Fagan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012-read
Loved this, best of a series that was already good. Sophie's voice continues to be wonderful and engaging, and the development of the characters is very rewarding after following them through the past books. It is World War II, though, so Bad Stuff happens. I didn't actually cry, but I got tight-throated at the end...

Shoshana G
May 25, 2017 Shoshana G rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Honestly, I could keep reading Sophie's journals forever.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nina {ᴡᴏʀᴅs ᴀɴᴅ ᴡᴀᴛᴇʀ}
I both loved and hated this book, review soon.


This book does war justice. Sophie's near unbiased recount is very justified. I loved seeing the aspect of war from her perspective. I loved hearing her voice. I also loved that the main characters were not unaffected by the repercussions of war. I love and hated what happened to Toby. And Toby was an awesome character! I feel sorry that Henry didn't have the same amount of attention given to her as some of the other characters, but what
What a satisfying ending to a great series. I really loved Sophie. This book read like a journal, one much more interesting than mine, all the boring bits cut out. Sophie has such wit and a dry sense of humor. I found myself sharing snippets of the novel with a friend because it was just too funny not to share.

The history of the novel, WW2, I found extremely interesting. It showed a side to the war that I hadn't read before, one of mistakes and coverup and odd little nitches of expertise that I
In this long-awaited final (and huge) volume of Sophie's journals, Great Britain is at war, the FitzOsbournes have to adapt to changes and grow up. This story deals with the tragedies of war. It provides a very honest and accurate portrayal (sometimes too accurate when the dialogue comes right out of the mouths of real life people and history books) of WWII. It's horribly sad and tragic - one of the most depressing books I've read. However, as a story about the FitzOsbornes, it does an excellent ...more
Jun 01, 2016 mikhaela rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
this book covers the actual war proper so it is, understandably, quite history-heavy. everything was dealt in detail: the rationing, the air strikes, the war effort. it was so well-researched that i am quite jealous of cooper, to be honest.

it tackled far heavier themes than the former books and i think cooper was especially wonderful at showing how war changes people while remaining true to the characters. sometimes it was hard to believe it was from the same strand of books as the first one, as
Anne Stockwell
Dec 30, 2012 Anne Stockwell rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wish I had reread the first two books before reading this; it's definitely not a stand-alone and there is not much of a recap. I found it confusing at first, trying to remember who everyone was and what kind of history they had with the other characters, and that turned out to be quite important. I also wish I had not read the goodreads reviews first since one of them had a major spoiler with no warning whatsoever (very bad manners!) and so I knew one of the major plot twists before I started. ...more
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Oct 25, 2012 Jaylia3 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Reading the FitzOsbornes at War felt like catching up with old friends. Covering the WWII era from 1939 to 1948, this third book in the series is much longer than the other two, over 500 pages, but I never found myself skimming. The series began in the tiny, impoverished kingdom of Montmaray, a fictitious island off the coast of Spain and France, home to a crumbling castle and the dwindling royal family of the FitzOsbornes. Most of the adult FitzOsbornes are mad or dead, but the teenage members ...more
Apr 01, 2014 Sarah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Review for Entire Trilogy

The title of this trilogy, The Montmaray Journals, refers to the written chronicle in which the protagonist, Sophie FitzOsborne, lets the readers in on her life on the island of Montmaray and her family’s experiences during World War II while residing in London and the family house in the English countryside. Her life differs greatly in all three locations as she and her family must try to cope with being forced out of their homeland and overlooked by the European commun
Apr 02, 2013 Deirdre rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's absolutely astounding to read such well-written, meticulously researched historical fiction. What a tour de force! And such fun to read, too!

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys drama, romance, family stories, adventure, or books with great writing and appealing characters. In other words, practically everybody. It will particularly appeal to -- let us say -- disillusioned former fans of "Downton Abbey," or people who enjoy other tales of the gentry in difficult circumstances, f
Miss Clark
May 28, 2013 Miss Clark rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: No one. Ever.
Shelves: historical
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 21, 2012 Mireille rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ahhhh. I'm not sure why it took me so long to read it, because I loved it. It was very interesting to read an account of WWII from London - I don't think I had known about what was going on in that city before. I liked seeing the women get jobs, the rationing, the black-out, etc., I could have taken even more of those kinds of details. Toby's story also made for a really emotional ride. Romantically, (view spoiler) ...more
Kristen Boers
Jun 05, 2014 Kristen Boers rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ending a series can be tricky. This final book in the ‘Montmaray Journals’ did everything right. The series follows the young royals of the (fictional) kingdom of Montmaray from the 1930’s to late 40’s. While the protagonists are fictional, plot points and supporting characters (the Spanish Civil war, the anti-Semitic movement in Britian, Churchill’s dismissal of the Channel Islands, the Kennedy family, the Mitford sisters) were very real. Sophie’s final story details her exploring class structu ...more
Charlotte Osborn-bensaada
The culmination of the Trilogy that starts with a Brief History of Montmaray, it works even is too much is worked out for you in the closing chapters. You could say this is where the upper classes face reality and do their bit for the war, but what I appreciated about this series is how she incorporates many historical events and people in less of a "heroic" manner and instead the more human element. I don't know that I ever appreciated how many types and for how long Britain was bombed. Churchi ...more
Snail in Danger (Sid) Nicolaides
I waited forever and ever for this, or at least it felt like it. In general I think it was worth the wait. I feel like the author was willing to tackle some things that a lot of authors either wouldn't have been willing to deal with in a YA book, or would only have managed to handle in a stupid way.

This gave me the not-unprecedented realization that much of historical fiction is actually about things that modern people worry about. Example: drone strikes (now) corresponding to rockets (then). Th
Dec 04, 2012 Jean rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I previewed this book (sent to our library by the American Library Guild) and now I will make my gray-haired librarian rant. Does it not bother anyone that this novel seems to have characters that are entirely amoral? I was wondering whether to overlook the PG13 content and language because of the educational aspects of this well researched historical fiction World War II novel, but really--I just have to wonder about everyone being okay with the gay king living with his wife and his wife's love ...more
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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 in Exile (The Montmaray Journals, #2)

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“She seemed to think reading was some sort of hobby, as opposed to being as necessary as breathing, sleeping, and eating.” 14 likes
“When I was little, I longed and longed to be older, except now I can't recall what exactly it was that I most keenly anticipated. Being allowed to stay up as late as I wanted? To wear or eat or read whatever I pleased? Well, I could do all those things now, but mostly I don't--either because I have to get up early for work the next morning, or haven't enough money to buy the outfit I really love, or for some other boring, grown-up reason. Also, children don't realize what a huge proportion of adult life is used up worrying about things--from what to make for dinner and whether one's sheets will get dry in time to make the beds that night, to whether one will ever manage to meet the right man and marry him. Shouldn't being a grown-up be slightly more exhilarating?” 12 likes
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