Saturday, July 25, 2020

Blog Tour & Review: The Woman Before Wallis by Bryn Turnbull


Today, I'm so happy to be a tour stop on the blog tour for the The Woman Before Wallis by Bryn Turnbull. Thank you MIRA for inviting me to participate.


Title: The Woman Before Wallis: A Novel of Windsors, Vanderbilts, & Royal Scandal
Author: Bryn Turnball
Published: July 2020, MIRA
Format: ARC E-copy, 416 pages
Source: Netgalley via Publisher

Summary: 
For fans of The Paris Wife and The Crown , this stunning novel tells the true story of the American divorcĂ©e who captured Prince Edward’s heart before he abdicated his throne for Wallis Simpson.

In the summer of 1926, when Thelma Morgan marries Viscount Duke Furness after a whirlwind romance, she’s immersed in a gilded world of extraordinary wealth and privilege. For Thelma, the daughter of an American diplomat, her new life as a member of the British aristocracy is like a fairy tale—even more so when her husband introduces her to Edward, Prince of Wales.

In a twist of fate, her marriage to Duke leads her to fall headlong into a love affair with Edward. But happiness is fleeting, and their love is threatened when Thelma’s sister, Gloria Morgan Vanderbilt, becomes embroiled in a scandal with far-reaching implications. As Thelma sails to New York to support Gloria, she leaves Edward in the hands of her trusted friend Wallis, never imagining the consequences that will follow.

Bryn Turnbull takes readers from the raucous glamour of the Paris Ritz and the French Riviera to the quiet, private corners of St. James’s Palace in this sweeping story of love, loyalty and betrayal.



My thoughts: It's no secret that I am a huge fan of anything to do with the royals. I love watching The Crown, so when I saw this book, I knew I just had to read it and I'm so glad I did. It was so fascinating and has me yearning to read more on what I've learned here!

I will admit, one of the things that first attracted me to this book is that Wallis's name is in the title. I'm quite fascinated by her and David's story, but this book is all about the woman who comes before her who I knew nothing about. This is why I love reading historical fiction - I feel like I learned so much here. Thelma Morgan is such a fascinating woman in her own right, without her getting tied up in the custody hearing for her sister's child and being involved with Edward, the Prince of Wales. Little did Thelma know that it would be her own actions that would push Wallis and Edward together in the end. 

This book is filled with scandal and drama and intrigue and it kept me engaged throughout the entire book. Because I've watched The Crown, I know all about David's abdication of the throne but I didn't realize he was involved with another divorced woman prior to Wallis. This book gives such insight into that and so much more. These characters come to life on the pages and I never felt that this book at any point becomes too bogged down. It moves along from the past, where we learn Thelma's backstory to the present where Thelma is helping Gloria with the custody case. I was equally invested in both story lines.

I haven't read much about the Vanderbilt family, so I wasn't aware of the connection between them and the monarchy, but I definitely plan on doing some digging and reading up on them. And this is why I love reading historical fiction. It always leaves me wanting to know more.

I really enjoyed this book. It is the author's debut novel and I for one will certainly be keeping an eye out to see what she writes next!




About the author: Bryn Turnbull is a writer of historical fiction with a penchant for fountain pens and antique furniture. Equipped with a Master of Letters in Creative Writing from the University of St. Andrews, a Master of Professional Communication from Ryerson University, and a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature from McGill University, Bryn focuses on finding the stories of women found within the cracks of the historical record. When she’s not writing, Bryn can be found exploring new coffee shops, spending time with her family in cottage country, or traveling. She lives in Toronto, and can generally be found with a book in hand.

Authors Links:  Website   |   Twitter  |  Facebook  | Instagram | Goodreads 

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