Brooke's Pick: The Queen's Secret by Karen Harper
Endearing herself to the British people with her kindness and strength, Elizabeth the Queen Mother, the wife of George VI and mother of a future Elizabeth II, orchestrates Edward VIII's exile while hiding damaging secrets.
Like so many others, I am a big fan of Netflix's The Crown. The television series naturally focuses on Queen Elizabeth II, and although her mother, Elizabeth Bowes Lyon, shares the screen with the Queen, little attention is given to her backstory, to what her life was like when SHE was Queen of England. That's where Karen Harper steps in and fills in the blanks with her novel, The Queen's Secret. Focusing on Elizabeth Bowes Lyon's marriage to King George VI & her time as Queen during WWII, The Queen's Secret breathes new life into the "Queen Mother."
The common thread running throughout the pages of this novel is "the queen's secrets." Readers should take note that although Harper treats these secrets as fact in her work, they are actually based on rumors and gossip. Could they be true? Possibly. But regardless of whether or not there is any truth to the scandals, it is still a lot of fun to pretend that they ARE in fact true and imagine what it would be like to be a Queen hiding such shameful secrets. I mention this aspect of the novel early in my review because readers who do not enjoy authors using their creative license will find fault with this book from the very start.
That aside, I enjoyed getting to know Queen Elizabeth throughout this book. I always found her to be stodgy and snobbish in The Crown, and I appreciate the light that Harper brought to her person in The Queen's Secret. Harper shows a different side of Queen Elizabeth, and invites readers into her marriage to King George VI, who she stood strongly and bravely beside as the British battled the Nazis. I am generally not a reader of WWII fiction, but will read anything "royal," so I found myself pleasantly surprised that I was enjoying this book which is heavy on the "great war."
This is my first Karen Harper book, but it won't be my last!
Availability: eBook in cloudLibrary Rating: **** Stars (I really liked it) Reviewer: Brooke, Public Relations Librarian
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GENRE: Historical Fiction
STORYLINE: Intricately Plotted
WRITING STYLE: Descriptive; Engaging
LOCATION: Great Britain
TIME PERIOD: Second World War Era (1939-1945)
SUBJECT: Determination in Women; Husband & Wife; Political Intrigue; Royal Houses; Secrets; War & Society; House of Windsor; World War II Home Front
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