Jo Lorenz's Reviews > Abdication

Abdication by Juliet Nicolson
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's review
Mar 23, 2012

it was ok
Read in March, 2012

Originally posted on The Tiny Book Nook

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 to the present, 1936, England.

The description of the country, from the harbors to London were so detailed that you feel like you are there seeing everything first hand. Nicholson obviously knows what she's talking about.

As for the writing, the author moved between the characters' past and present. In the beginning I thought that was interesting. But I soon got tired of it and I just wanted the flashbacks to end and focus on the present.

If you are expecting to see a lot of the interactions between King Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson (whether fictional or historically accurate), when it's just the two of them, having a dialogue, you might be disappointed. These lovers were only mentioned as they were discussed by the press, the citizens of England, and when the characters (mostly Evangeline) interacted with them. I wish there was more focus on them. I think some readers would pick up this book thinking they would be reading about the world's most famous love affair (maybe because of the title), but as characters they seemed like an afterthought.

Setting these lovers aside, I liked some characters more than others. I enjoyed reading about May. I thought her background was interesting and well thought-out. Her extended family also adds to her character development. Overall, they were fun characters by their own right.

Although I felt sympathy for Evangeline, her story was pretty boring and I was really tempted to jump ahead. But I guess that's an important point - her life wasn't interesting like Wallis', that's why she's jealous of her.

All in all, Abdication is an okay novel with some interesting characters, historical detail, and romance.
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