As the title suggests, before Wallis Simpson there was someone else whom Edward, Prince of Wales, was involved with. Her name was Thelma Morgan, the sister of Gloria Morgan Vanderbilt. Because I wasn’t familiar with her story and how she factored into the prince’s life, I was eager to learn about her. Unfortunately, her story fell completely flat for me. I’m not sure if she was purposely written as a droll, sort of uninteresting character because she was that way in life, but I just did not care about her one way or the other. I was much more interested in Gloria’s story. That being said, the book was well written and I care enough to finish and see how Wallis swept into Edward and Thelma’s relationship and turning his head towards her. This is Bryn Turnbull’s first novel and I will definitely be reading what she publishes next.
Reasons I liked this book:
Extra info on a subject I’ve always found fascinating.
Dual timeline format, both told by Thelma.
Who doesn’t love a bit of royal intrigue?
Book quote: “Thelma watched the prince with interest. He was younger than she expected; she knew he was in his thirties, but the prince looked almost boyish, his expression youthful yet weary at the same time. She was surprised at his height: she had imagined him tall, as she pictured all public figures, but he was just a shade taller than Thelma and exceedingly slim. Exceptionally handsome, too: impeccable and fine featured, his hand darting, almost compulsively, to his bow tie as he spoke.”
Rating: 3 stars
Similar books you might enjoy: Wallis, a Novel by Anne Edwards, The Golden Prince by Rebecca Dean.
Thank you Mira/HarperCollins Canada for a copy of this book. Thoughts are my own.