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"You have no idea how hard it is to live out a great romance." -Wallis Simpson
Everyone has heard of Wallis Simpson, the woman for whom Edward VIII so infamously abdicated his throne and birthright. But although her life has constantly been the subject of much fascination, gossip, and speculation, her whole story has yet to be told. Now historical biographer Andrew Morton uses diary entries, letters, and other never-before-seen records to offer a fresh portrait of Wallis Simpson in all her vibrancy and brazenness as she climbed the social ladder, transforming from a hard-nosed gold digger to charming chatelaine.
Morton takes us through the cacophonous Jazz Age, a period of casual sex, cocaine, and screeching trombones; Wallis's romantic adventures in Washington and friendship with Eleanor Roosevelt; her exploits in China and beyond; to her entrance into the strange wonderland that is London Society. During her journey, we meet an extraordinary array of characters, many of whom smoothed the way for her dalliance with the king of England, Edward VIII, and we gain insights into the personality and motivations of a complex, domineering woman striving to determine her own fate in a harsh, turbulent world.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Rita T on 02-15-18
This one is being returned
I waited so excited about this book and what few chapters I could get through were just awful! The same info is repeated over and over in different ways. This has to be one of the worst books I've ever purchased from audible. RUN!!!
20 of 22 people found this review helpful
By Laurie on 02-19-18
Wallis Wasn't A Very Nice Person
She's been romanticized on the screen in made for TV movies and documentaries that speculate on her inner life, but this book reveals her as a very superficial social climber, almost completely solipsistic, bitter and unenlightened. For that reason, this is a rather depressing listen. Very little time is given to her life as a child, so we really don't have a very solid background explaining why she might have turned out this way -- except that she was a middle class girl raised among a much wealthier social milieu. Edward was her willing slave -- though why he was so taken with her and loved her to the last in spite of her bitchiness is another mystery that remains unexplored by this book. The book does give an excellent picture of the nature of their relationship and the shortcomings of both individuals. Just don't expect an uplifting story or sympathetic characters in this book; you will get neither.
The narrator left much to be desired. Her lilting accentuation was irritating, with subtly operatic tendencies that didn't match the words being read. This isn't my preferred style of narration. Her range of expression is quite limited, but she seems to run through the whole range of it within a few sentences.
12 of 13 people found this review helpful