This book will certainly be quickly picked up and read by those who love stories about Elizabeth and Phillip, and/or by those who enjoyed the Netflix series, The Crown. This story starts as one of youth; readers observe as Elizabeth and Phillip get to know each other, beginning when the future queen was just a girl. There is an early vivid scene of a Christmas pantomime at the castle during WWII. Elizabeth is an Aladdin who eagerly looks for a certain dashing naval officer in the audience. She is clearly interested in him. But, what does he think of or want from her? Even if you know how history played out, the author manages to create some suspense.
Phillip is portrayed as interested in this young Elizabeth but also as a man who is not fully ready to settle down. The influence of his family history (royalty without a country) and his uncle Mountbatten’s pressure to become the future monarch’s husband are realistically portrayed.
Another section of the book, at the end of the war, shows Elizabeth as the young girl she is. This has been the subject of a movie, A Royal Night Out. and very much comes to life in the novel. It was one time when Elizabeth was able to shed her persona and be part of a crowd in a celebration.
From these beginning chapters, the author crafts a well told accounting of one of the longest and most famous marriages in the Western world, one that Elizabeth’s father did not initially endorse. Readers are swept along as this couple moves toward one another and their eventual wedding. Be there with them on this journey as the pages turn.
I highly recommend this readable and enjoyable historical novel. Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this title in exchange for an honest review.
pub date: September 18, 2020