Jennifer Mccann's Reviews > Mr. Churchill's Secretary

Mr. Churchill's Secretary by Susan Elia MacNeal
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Apr 17, 12

Read in April, 2012

I love historical fiction, so this is right up my alley! When it comes to historical fiction I am somewhat demanding. I want it to be accurate. I want it to be authentic. I hate anachronisms! I love the way historical fiction blends fact and fiction, being simultaneously educational and entertaining.

Here it is evident that the author spent much time and effort making sure her setting was authentic. The background tapestry is richly woven without overtaking the main characters or plot. This is a beautiful balance. As such, I would get lost and forget myself in the book. I almost never had that jarring moment when the text brought me out of the story and back to present day. If I did, it was because the sentence sounded like the tone of a friend of mine.

As far as heroines go, I love Maggie. Maybe because I want to be Maggie. Strong, smart, decisive, confident. These are things I think we all want to be. I want her moxie! Maggie is a Brit by birth, raised by her aunt in the US after a family tragedy kills both her parents. About to embark upon her graduate studies in Math, Maggie instead finds herself in London in May 1940 to claim her inheritance from her grandmother's estate. While there she begins to make peace with her tragic family past only to discover everything she was led to believe isn't quite what really was!

While her character is living and exploring life in London, she becomes vastly underemployed, due to the sexism of the time, as a typist for Winston Churchill. Using her innate math skills, she discovers and becomes embroiled in a terrorist's plot in Britain.

This book is much too cerebral for a traditional whodunit! It is so much better. This book isn't just about whodunit, but rather about Maggie, an endearing and confident young woman. There is are friendships solidified and others gone awry. There is a touch of romance, both subtle and clumsy, like a real life romance where the characters are tentative and unsure. There is action. There is history.

Basically, it is just a really damn good book! Enjoy!


Mr. Churchill's Secretary: A Novel
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