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Palace Circle

3.25  ·  Rating Details ·  527 Ratings  ·  112 Reviews
Palace intrigue, romance, and illicit affairs--Rebecca Dean has written a glorious novel that will sweep Philippa Gregory fans off their feet.
Delia Chandler, an eighteen-year-old Southern girl, marries Viscount Ivor Conisborough just before World War II, becoming part of the Windsor court. It's every girl's dream come true. But Delia is jolted from her pleasant life when
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Hardcover, Large Print, 637 pages
Published June 1st 2009 by Thorndike Press (first published 2009)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Marie
Mar 03, 2009 Marie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
A novel of privileged Delia and her daughters, set against a supposedly magnificent backdrop of World War II in Britain though I was expecting perhaps a bit more 'history'. The war moved along speedily with friends and acquaintances going off to fight somewhere and some came back and some didn't. Just as fast as that and pretty much no true emotion.
Just as quick, her husband is transferred to Cairo and Delia's eldest skips a few years to 16 and is enjoying Egypt. That's all in the first 115 page
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Belinda
4 sterren. Nederlandse ingebonden versie.

Delia Chandler wordt verliefd op Lord Ivor Conisborough. Zij is totaal verliefd op hem maar ze merkt al snel dat hij voor een erfgenaam met haar getrouwd is. Het was in die tijd gebruikelijk om in de hogere kringen te trouwen voor naam en vermogen en daarna een maitresse te nemen. - "Het is hier gebruikelijk om een verstandshuwelijk te sluiten en pas daarna op zoek te gaan naar liefde. En dat geld voor echtgenotes, zodra ze een erfgenaam hebben voortgebra
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Sara
Mar 31, 2009 Sara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Young, beautiful and American Delia Chandler is married to an older English Viscount, and is transported to England’s court before World War I. In over her head, Delia must rise to the occasion to build a life for herself in England. Despite pressure to produce an heir, Delia gives birth to two beautiful daughters. As the story continues we are treated to the next generation’s perspective through World War II in England, Egypt and other parts of Europe.

In the similar vein of Philippa Gregory or
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Kim
Sep 08, 2014 Kim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: downton-esque
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jennifer
Aug 05, 2011 Jennifer rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Ack! This book started out so well with so much promise. Wonderful setting, characters and situations were pretty good, albeit slightly predictable. Beautiful costumes, and interesting plot movement, that is... until... Delia learns that she must leave England and move with her famously wealthy and important to the Empire husband to Egypt. Delia just cannot abide by this. Her beautifully charmed and privileged life is crashing around her. Mind you she suffered very little during the war and has ...more
Clare
Sep 29, 2016 Clare rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
When it doesn't rely heavily on hysteria, name dropping and the ridiculous, there are some redeeming elements of her writing.
Kleiner
Palace Circle is a romantic saga that follows the Conisborough family from the early 1900s to World War II as the family lives in Virginia, England and Egypt.

Viscount Ivor Conisborough, a forty-year-old widower, marries Delia Chandler, an eighteen-year-old Virginian, to produce an heir, while Delia marries Ivor for love. Upon becoming a member of the Windsor court, Delia is swept into a world of adultery, and the endless effort to avoid scandal. Even though her marriage may not be what she expec
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Katie Hutchison Irion
I am still debating whether or not I should have given this three stars. I think 3.5 would have been great but I find myself still thinking about this book so maybe it does deserve four stars.
A sweeping story set over 30 years about a woman named Delia and her posterity. Delia is 18 at the start of the novel and the new wife of Lord Conisborough. She is a rowdy American and quickly falls into life as a rich aristocrat in London. The story is in parts and each parts highlights the life of a parti
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Sarah Beth
This novel was good but not for the reasons I initially thought. First, the cover promises that "If you like Philippa Gregory, you will love this book!" False. I do like Philippa Gregory fairly well but other than a resemblance in genre, Dean's writing differed widely from Gregory. Second, the back cover of this book let me believe that Delia is the center of this story, when in fact the point of view changes throughout the novel.

This novel is composed of five parts in five points of view: Deli
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Holly
Mar 23, 2011 Holly rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I picked up this book on impulse at the library because I liked the cover and it boasted "If you like Philippa Gregory, you will love this book!" I can't say that I subscribe to that notion, considering I don't think this novel was quite like a Philippa Gregory novel at all, but overall it was an enjoyable read.

However, I almost didn't finish the book because the first part (from Delia's perspective) is terribly boring and very badly written. I had to force myself through Delia's section, as wel
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Kimber
May 13, 2009 Kimber rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow... the main thing I will say is that the description of the book should not even be read. I had no idea what I was in for. The description only encompasses the first part of the book. Actually less than the first part. By the middle of the book you hardly see the "main" character anymore. But somehow, somehow it works. Once you get over the shock of the pacing and huge storyline.
What starts out as a small heartfelt interesting tale in england turns into a sprawling epic story ending in egypt
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Coleen
Apr 17, 2012 Coleen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
8/9/09 - I think I'd probably term this as "light" historical fiction -- a fun summer read with enough family drama & intrigue to keep the reader interested. As other reviewers have mentioned, Rebecca Dean has chosen to tell the story from the point of view of 5 of the main characters (3 female, 2 male) in sequential order (rather than alternating back & forth), which I thought was an interesting way to tell the story. I initially wasn't sure that it would work, but I think it did. The b ...more
Adriana
May 31, 2009 Adriana rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: new-in-2009
I'm kind of really frustrated with this book. I wanted it to be like a Phillipa Gregory book, which the cover unjustly promised, but the only thing it had in common with a Phillipa Gregory books is that they're both historical fiction.

The storyline was fascinating but the writing was poor and unskilled. The historical backdrop was only superficially mentioned in passing ("in February, this happened...) to indicate that time was passing. At one point, like 16 years passes in a sentence and the se
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Britni
Jun 18, 2011 Britni rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
If you like books that have good character development, this book is not for you. Palace Circle was supposed to be, "A novel that will sweep Phillipa Gregory fans off their feet." As you can probably tell from my two reviews of Phillipa Gregory books, I like a good novel mixed with history, romance, and royal betrayal. Palace Circle had potential, but for me, it missed the mark on all three.

It's a book written about an 18-year old Southern beauty who is swept off her feet by an older English Vic
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Jenn
Unexpectedly soap opera like but not in a bad way. I felt like the author struggled a little bit with the balance between the family and it's affairs and the political/historical happenings of the time period. Parts of the book also felt a bit rushed, but I should stress that this did not take away from my enjoyment of the story. My favorite part about this book was that by following this family from 1911 to 1941 you get to see the change in social ideas, behavior, and expectations in the Englis ...more
Rhlibrary
This fine piece of historical fiction set just before WWII follows the life of Delia Chandler, an eighteen-year-old Virginian who marries an English Viscount and is whisked away to become part of the Windsor court. Initially a fish out of water, she easily adapts and has society wrapped around her little finger--she wins them over with her vivacious personality, flame-red hair, and her penchant for singing Dixie at the drop of a hat. But her victory soon pales when she realizes that her husband ...more
Debbie
Jun 10, 2009 Debbie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was not what I had expected but I did enjoy reading it. Do not expect anything epic along the lines of the Philppa Gregory books though.

Although it sounds like the story is going to focus on Delia it is really broken up into 5 parts. The first follows Delia and how she deals with her husband, his affair and adjusting to life in England. The other four parts follow her two daughters as they have to deal with their own romance problems and the the two men who are the objects of their aff
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Rachel
Jan 31, 2010 Rachel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was much more interesting than I thought it would be. The book is divided into 5 parts, the first of which focuses on Delia, her marriage and relocation to England and Cairo. The subsequent 4 parts each focus on a different character from Delia's children's generation.
I learned in detail about English court and politics from 1911-1930's, and Egyptian politics during WW2 (something you never learn about in school). It was really interesting, and brought more depth to the story lines.
Be
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Colleen
May 11, 2009 Colleen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
This book is a hard one to review, especially because I was so primed to enjoy it before I began. Unforunately, the more I read, the less I liked the Delia and the less I enjoyed the novel. Both Delia and the plot itself remained to superficial for me, and I found the vast leaps in time grating. The best part of the novel by far was the insights into the Windsor court and into the Egyptian colonial society of the time, but even those highlights were not enough to carry the narrative for me, espe ...more
Anya
May 13, 2012 Anya rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Honest to God, I tried to like this book. I really did try. Why I didn't like it? The whole thing felt rushed. Characters were running from one situation into another (and from one country to another) in just a few pages time. And when they weren't hurrying along, they were being annoying as hell. There was hardly a character I felt comfortable reading about.

I think the author tried to comprehend too much into her story. She wanted so much stuff to happen in such a delicate period of time in the
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Marta hoelscher
I thought this was a nice story, but I don't think it can be compared to Philippa Gregory book. This is a nice light read, and the story is very enjoyable. Unfortunately, for myself I kept waiting for more. The storyline seemed rather superficial like we were just getting a glimpse of this family, versus being in the middle of it. I was looking for more information about those historical details because it's not something that's been written a lot about in these kinds of romances. I think it's j ...more
Deirdre
I really wanted to like this book, but ultimately I was just very disappointed. Divided into 5 sections, one for each of the main characters, the story remained superficial and the characters for the most part poorly developed. Though the narrative contains vast leaps forward in time, it still manages to drag.

The most interesting elements of the book were its historical glimpses of the Windsor court and of society in colonial Egypt - it was these settings which drew me to the book in the first
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edh
May 19, 2009 edh rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Looks a bit steamy, also billed for "fans of Philippa Gregory." I'll be the judge of that.

I think this novel tried to do too much in too little space - while we are drawn in to the young Southern girl who marries a British peer, ends up trapped in an unfaithful relationship and then finds true love with another man in a genteel society affair... the story too quickly gives way to her daughter, who falls in love with a most inappropriate young man (in many ways) and from there, I just lost intere
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Sylvia
Apr 23, 2009 Sylvia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When it comes to making people wanting more susspence, Rebecca Dean sure as heck delivers and satifies that need. When i read this book i never thought there would be so much drama, susspence, betrayal, twists, turns, and romance packed into its 414 pages. This book is one of the best that i have read when it comes to scandals in the time of the World Wars!!! There were times when i was forced to put it down, like during passing period at my school. Once cannot read while walking with those crow ...more
Juliana Chow
I absolutely ADORED "The Golden Prince", which is also one of Rebecca Dean's books, so I thought I'd give this a try. I think it was OK. Didn't exactly live up to my expectations, mainly because the book is parted into five parts. Delia, Delia's two daughters, the girls British childhood friend, and an Egyptian boy. The story about Delia, who moves from America to London, as she gets married to an British man much older than herself. The plot sounded extremely good, so I was EXTREMELY disappoint ...more
Amanda R.
May 08, 2013 Amanda R. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who loves British history or romance novels.
My full review will be available at http://journeythroughthebooks.blogspo... later on this evening.

However, I absolutely fell in love with this book, and now count Rebecca Dean among my favorite authors. This was well-written, and I loved that it spanned from just before World War I up to World War II. I also loved that it was split into five parts, and each part was from the viewpoint of a different character. That, to me, brought so much life to the novel. I couldn't put this book down!

I was a
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Heidi
Jul 09, 2009 Heidi rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
After reading this book I am grateful I was not born to aristocracy. It followed the lives of the characters over 30 years from WWI thru WWII in England and Egypt. It was at times hard to remember all the names that were dropped as they related to the political goings on, but it was interesting to learn so much about the order of events that led to the wars and about the political landscape of Egypt as well. My only misgivings about this book was the way the author revealed secrets in such a sim ...more
Anna
Jul 10, 2013 Anna rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dividing the novel into seperate sections each featuring a different character was a bad idea, there simply wasn't enough pages. It was in interesting read for a lazy beach vacation but I can't imagine re-reading this. Especially after Delia, the southern beauty, started to irk my soul. She was selfish and vain but somehow adored by all. She kept information from her daughters fiancé as to why she left him, creating a huge mess that could have easily been prevented and saved years of heartbreak. ...more
Rebecca Huston
Mar 01, 2012 Rebecca Huston rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: no one!
You might be tempted to pick this one up if you need a Downton Abbey sort of book, but be warned, it's a dull, boring book that is full of silliness and very flat characters. American Heiress marries English Nobleman, has daughters but no sons, falls in love with someone else, and Daughters get into romantic messes while the Author name-drops and goes into endless descriptions of clothing, cars and over the top behaviour. Sigh. I don't have the time to waste on crap like this. ONE Star Wonder.

Fo
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Angela
Apr 09, 2009 Angela rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I picked this up at the library because on the front it said "If you love Philippa Gregory, you will look this book." And I do love her books, so I picked it up and I did end up liking this one, though this book doesn't feel anything like Gregory. A little more character drama than historical intrigue. But the novel did have interesting characters, especially Delia. And now I am curious about the real people that the story includes and if their personalities were close to the way Dean describes ...more
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Margaret A. Hudson was born on 10 April 1943 in Bradford, Yorkshire, England, UK, of German extraction. She was daughter of Kathleen (Ramsden), an artist, and George Arthur Hudson, an architect. Married with Londoner Mike Pemberton, they have five grown children, today she lives with her husband and four small dogs in Whitstable, Kent. Apart from writing, her passions are tango, travel, English hi ...more
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