March 22nd, 2019
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That Churchill Woman

That Churchill Woman, February 2019
by Stephanie Barron

Ballantine Books
Featuring: Jennie Jerome (Lady Randolph Churchill); Randolph Churchill; Bertie, Prince of Wales
400 pages
ISBN: 1524799564
EAN: 9781524799564
Kindle: B07CR4XZY7
Hardcover / e-Book
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"A captivating novel about Winston Churchill's fascinating mother..."

Fresh Fiction Review

That Churchill Woman
Stephanie Barron

Reviewed by Magdalena Johansson
Posted January 9, 2019

Historical

THAT CHURCHILL WOMAN has been high on my want to read list this year. A book about Winston Churchill's notorious mother? Count me in!

Jennie Jerome was a rich, privileged, and unconventional New Yorker who married Lord Randolph Churchill and becomes the mother of Winston Churchill, one of the most prominent men of the twentieth century. Jennie hardly knew Randolph before agreeing to marry him, however, she was hellbent on marrying him despite her mother's misgivings. The marriage had its ups and downs, and Jennie had countless lovers. But, one particular will dominate her life in this book: Count Charles Kinsky. Their love affair is pretty much doomed from the start, yet they can't stay away from each other, even when Bertie, Prince of Wales, warns Jennie about the risks himself...

THAT CHURCHILL WOMAN is a perfect book to read if you want to read about a woman that wouldn't let social rules define her life. Jennie Churchill is a fascinating woman and had a shrewd political mind that Winston Churchill must have inherited. Speaking of Winston, some chapters in the second part of the book is from Winston's point of view, which is a double-edged sword because he is so dominating; his life was so interesting even as a boy, that it takes the focus away from Jennie. While I did like reading about Jennie, I found the focus on her love life and especially her relationship with Coun Kinsky dominated the story a bit too much. I felt that she was such a compelling person and far too interesting to be defined by her relationship with one man. This made the ending somewhat depressing for me because I wanted to read about her later years. Instead, you get a summary of what happened to Jennie later in life.

That being said, despite my complaints about not getting the whole story, I enjoyed reading THAT CHURCHILL WOMAN. The writing is lovely and I quite liked getting to know Jennie Churchill. Also, a sequel about Winston wouldn't be so bad...

Learn more about That Churchill Woman

SUMMARY

The Paris Wife meets PBS’s Victoria in this enthralling novel of the life and loves of one of history’s most remarkable women: Winston Churchill’s scandalous American mother, Jennie Jerome.

Wealthy, privileged, and fiercely independent New Yorker Jennie Jerome took Victorian England by storm when she landed on its shores. As Lady Randolph Churchill, she gave birth to a man who defined the twentieth century: her son Winston. But Jennie—reared in the luxury of Gilded Age Newport and the Paris of the Second Empire—lived an outrageously modern life all her own, filled with controversy, passion, tragedy, and triumph.

When the nineteen-year-old beauty agrees to marry the son of a duke she has known only three days, she’s instantly swept up in a whirlwind of British politics and the breathless social climbing of the Marlborough House Set, the reckless men who surround Bertie, Prince of Wales. Raised to think for herself and careless of English society rules, the new Lady Randolph Churchill quickly becomes a London sensation: adored by some, despised by others.

Artistically gifted and politically shrewd, she shapes her husband’s rise in Parliament and her young son’s difficult passage through boyhood. But as the family’s influence soars, scandals explode and tragedy befalls the Churchills. Jennie is inescapably drawn to the brilliant and seductive Count Charles Kinsky—diplomat, skilled horse-racer, deeply passionate lover. Their impossible affair only intensifies as Randolph Churchill’s sanity frays, and Jennie—a woman whose every move on the public stage is judged—must walk a tightrope between duty and desire. Forced to decide where her heart truly belongs, Jennie risks everything—even her son—and disrupts lives, including her own, on both sides of the Atlantic.

Breathing new life into Jennie’s legacy and the gilded world over which she reigned, That Churchill Woman paints a portrait of the difficult—and sometimes impossible—balance between love, freedom, and obligation, while capturing the spirit of an unforgettable woman, one who altered the course of history.


What do you think about this review?

Comments

1 comment posted.

Re: A captivating novel about Winston Churchill's fascinating mother...

Well, now. Overall, it sounds like the book succeeds in
telling the story. I'll read it. Thanks.
(Kathleen Bylsma 3:46pm January 12)

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