Wallis in Love

or Andrew Morton’s "Wallis in Love: The Untold Life of the Duchess of Windsor, the Woman Who Changed the Monarchy".

Andrew Morton, probably best known for his 2009 biography of Princess Diana, “Diana: Her True Story in Her Own Words” has written another tell-all, and all, and all, book about Wallis Simpson for whom King Edward VIII of England abdicated the throne in 1936. This book was chosen for our March book club. I am a fan of history and had read Morton’s “Diana” and enjoyed it, so I was looking forward to reading this book. What a great love story…a man and woman so much in love that he would give up the throne of England for her! Oh my! Sigh. That’s the things Cinderella stories are made of, or so I thought.

I had to purchase this book because I was unable to get it at the library. It is over 300 pages long. The middle section, like many books contains several pages of photographs. I usually always check out the photographs first and read the captions as it helps me to have a visual picture of who the characters in the book are. That was probably my first mistake in this book because after reading captions under the photos on the first two pages, I already decided I didn’t like Wallis.

I trudged my way through the first half of the book, liking Wallis less and less. After the first half I did the “skim and flip”…reading the first sentence in a paragraph to see if there were something important in it and if not, go on to the next paragraph or page.

When I got to our book club meeting, I found that I was in the majority; most of the women did not or could not finish the book. But we were all in agreement that Morton did a wonderful job of researching his subject and that Wallis was a very unlikeable, narcisisstic gold-digger whose sole purpose in life was to climb the social ladder. The golden ring was within her grasp when it was plucked from her hands by the King’s abdication of the throne.

Would I recommend this book to someone else? I would with the caveat that there are lots of lots of characters in the book, you won’t like Wallis and you probably won’t like Edward Windsor either.

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