Friday, November 15, 2019

Book Review: The Other Windsor Girl by Georgie Blalock

Pages: 400
Genre: Adult Historical Fiction
Pub. Date: November 5, 2019
Publisher: William Morrow
Source: Publisher for review
My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Goodreads says, "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…"

Vera Strathmore thought she had it all.  She was engaged to a great guy and even had a career as a novelist writing romance novels under a pseudonym, Mrs. Rose Lavish.  However, her world came crumbling down around her when her fiancĂ© was killed in World War II.  She now lives at home with her parents and her sister, who will soon be moving out once she's married.  Vera has become a bit of a homebody and spends most of her free time writing her romance novels.  Princess Margaret is a fan of these novels and Vera's cousin, Rupert, is friends with Princess Margaret and part of her social set, so he decides to introduce the two women.  Vera and Princess Margaret surprisingly hit it off and in turn, Vera is now catapulted into the Princess's fast moving and hard drinking world.  In fact, Vera finds herself as second lady in waiting to Princess Margaret and now she is exposed to not only the vibrant social life of the Princess, but also the demands of the Royal family.  Georgie Blalock's historical debut, The Other Windsor Girl, is a fascinating glimpse into Princess Margaret's life and is perfect for fans of The Crown.

Blalock gives us Vera, who is a fictional character, but it's interesting to see things through her eyes as opposed to Princess Margaret's. I found Vera to be an interesting character in her own right and liked that she had a promising writing career and dreams for herself despite the cards life dealt her.  However, all of this is put on hold once Princess Margaret sets her eyes on Vera as she finds her very compelling. It was smart of Blalock to write The Other Windsor Girl though Vera's point of view so we are able to experience characters from history and important events, but indirectly.

Blalock's Princess Margaret is well done in The Other Windsor Girl.  I always felt badly for the Princess as she is torn between love, loyalty and duty. She can't seem to get it right at times and the pressures of being a Royal are always on the forefront.  I loved visiting Princess Margaret's world filled with epic parties, amazing clothing, scandalous behavior, and we can't forget the affair with Peter Townsend! 

So, if you are a fan of The Crown of all things Royals, you must check out The Other Windsor Girl.  It will definitely hold you over until the new season of The Crown comes out.  If you are a Royal lover, like me, let me know your thoughts in the comments below.  

4 comments:

  1. I'm a huge fan of The Crown and royalty in general - just from watching the show, you can tell Margaret didn't have the easiest of lives. I'm really looking forward to this book!

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    1. Me too! I think you'll like this book! I am so excited to watch the new season of The Crown! Thanks for visiting, Angela!

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  2. I haven't seen a single episode of The Crown. I feel like one must be familiar with the royals to actually enjoy these type of books. But I must say that I didn't really get into the history of The Tudor's until I saw Anne Boyelyn.

    Princess Margaret seems like a tortured character. Though not physically, but harmed anyway.

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    1. You haven't seen The Crown??? I think you'd like it. It's well done! But yes, you have to be a royal lover to appreciate this novel as well last the show. Princess Margaret is fascinating for sure! Thanks for visiting, Joy!

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