Friday, November 15, 2019

Review: The Other Windsor Girl by Georgie Blalock

Title: The Other Windsor Girl
Author: Georgie Blalock
Published: November 2019, William Morrow Paperbacks
Format: ARC Paperback, 400 pages
Source: Publisher

In a historical debut evoking the style of The Crown, the daughter of an impoverished noble is swept into the fame and notoriety of the royal family and Princess Margaret's fast-living friends when she is appointed as Margaret's second Lady-in-Waiting.

Diana, Catherine, Meghan…glamorous Princess Margaret outdid them all. Springing into post-World War II society, and quite naughty and haughty, she lived in a whirlwind of fame and notoriety. Georgie Blalock captures the fascinating, fast-living princess and her “set” as seen through the eyes of one of her ladies-in-waiting.

In dreary, post-war Britain, Princess Margaret captivates everyone with her cutting edge fashion sense and biting quips. The royal socialite, cigarette holder in one hand, cocktail in the other, sparkles in the company of her glittering entourage of wealthy young aristocrats known as the Margaret Set, but her outrageous lifestyle conflicts with her place as Queen Elizabeth’s younger sister. Can she be a dutiful princess while still dazzling the world on her own terms?

Post-war Britain isn’t glamorous for The Honorable Vera Strathmore. While writing scandalous novels, she dreams of living and working in New York, and regaining the happiness she enjoyed before her fiancĂ© was killed in the war. A chance meeting with the Princess changes her life forever. Vera amuses the princess, and what—or who—Margaret wants, Margaret gets. Soon, Vera gains Margaret’s confidence and the privileged position of second lady-in-waiting to the Princess. Thrust into the center of Margaret’s social and royal life, Vera watches the princess’s love affair with dashing Captain Peter Townsend unfurl.

But while Margaret, as a member of the Royal Family, is not free to act on her desires, Vera soon wants the freedom to pursue her own dreams. As time and Princess Margaret’s scandalous behavior progress, both women will be forced to choose between status, duty, and love…

My thoughts: If you know me, you know I've been counting down the days until the next season of The Crown comes back to Netflix and luckily that time is shortly upon us...Season 3 premieres this Sunday, November 17th and I cannot wait!!! I have loved every episode of this series and as a result, have become infatuated everything I can get my hands on dealing with the Royal Family, so of course when I saw Georgie Blalock's debut novel about Princess Margaret I knew I had to read it.

I admit that other than watching The Crown, I do not know much about Princess Margaret and I do plan on rectifying that. Now of course, this is not a biography of her, but rather a historical fictional account and I fully understand that, but it has only piqued my interest even more. I loved the blend of fact and fiction and I felt that Georgie Blalock does it effortlessly. She chooses to tell the story through the eyes of a fictitious character, The Honorable Vera Strathmore.

I loved Vera's character and was as equally interested in her story as I was in Princess Margaret's. Vera is the epitome of strength. She has much to overcome and does so with poise and grace, which, ironically is quite the opposite of how Princess Margaret tends to behave. I was well aware of some of the controversies that happened during the years that this book covers, but it was interesting to see them again from a different lens. 

As much as Princess Margaret shocked and caused havoc here and there, and as appalling as her behavior sometimes seems, deep down you can't help but feel sympathy for her. As she is pushed further into the background because of her sister the Queen, it appears her behavior becomes more and more outrageous. When you stop and think for a moment about this, you can't help but feel sad.  Who doesn't want to be loved? And who doesn't want to be with the person that they choose? Who wants to have to get approval to be with someone, especially when that approval has to come from your sister and the government? Royalty is a hard life, whether you choose it or not and this story shows that it might not really be as glamorous as it seems.

I flew through this book as I could not get enough of either women's story. I was completely hooked from start to finish and never once felt that any part of the book lagged. At times, it's like watching a train wreck or getting the best gossip, and I loved every minute of it. As with most historical fiction, it has left me wanting to learn more about Princess Margaret. I find her to be so fascinating and I definitely plan to seek out more books about her. Have you read anything about her? 


1 comment

  1. Thank you for the review. I have just thought of Margaret as being very arrogant, very haughty - maybe I am wrong. I'd like to read this one though.


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