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Gone with the Windsors

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Wealthy (and young) Baltimore widow Maybell Brumby travels to London in 1932 with plans to make her mark in society. Let her sister Violet socialize with the Bertie Yorks-Maybell can do better. Old friend Wallis Simpson is in town, and as always, Wally has plans. And with Maybell to pick up the tab for her old schoolmate, the ambitious Mrs. Simpson is assured of the clothes and jewels she'll need for weekends in the country with her new friend, Thelma, Prince Edward's mistress. Taking the form of a diary written by the observant yet completely clueless Maybell, Gone is a real treat for anglophiles. Graham (The Future Homemakers of America) has written a witty and insightful historical novel and even manages to make the brainless and superficial Maybell likable. Familiarity with the story of the abdication of Edward VIII and the Duke and Duchess of Windsor will certainly help the reader get all the inside references and humor, though the novel can be enjoyed without it. Recommended for popular fiction collections in public libraries.-Elizabeth Mellett, Brookline P.L., MA Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

The diary entries of shallow and oblivious Baltimore socialite Maybell Brumby comprise Graham's fourth novel, which explores the fictional lives of intimates involved in the 1936 abdication of King Edward VIII. Maybell, widowed by her older husband, leaves for London in 1932 to join her sister Violet and falls in with her school friend Bessie Wallis "Wally" Simpson, the married woman (twice, in fact) who has set her sights on the then Prince of Wales. Through Maybell's American patricianism, Graham (The Future Homemakers of America) skewers the tedious royal family and their aristocratic hangers-on. Maybell's self-absorption and dim-wittedness make her endearing at odd moments (as when she learns that her other sister, "Doopie," is deaf rather than mentally handicapped); her chatty tone is grating when the action-primarily Wally's plotting, conquest and royal assumption-slows. Graham depicts the abdication as a kind of bedroom farce and uses Maybell's ignorance to add ambiguity to the controversial relationship of the duke (as he is known after abdication) and Wally to the Nazi regime. As WWII becomes imminent, the leisured friends must make a run for it, and the partings are not all amicable. This light romp through sordid territory is sly, gossipy fun. (Aug.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

"Delightful...If you like P.G. Wodehouse - or if British royalty is your cup of ... tea - go with the Windsors--USA Today Delightful...If you like P.G. Wodehouse - or if British royalty is your cup of ... tea - go with the Windsors--USA Today"

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