I didn’t plan it this way, but it turns out everything I read this month was related to the British royal family! I didn’t read very much by my usual standards, and nothing that I read was all that spectacular, but I don’t mind having a month like that every once in a while.
Two of the three books I read this month were gifted to me by publishers so I want to share a little bit about my philosophy when it comes to reviewing those books. When publishers send me books to read I take that responsibility very seriously. My reviews are always my own honest opinions, and I also have the option not to read and review books I receive. That said, I do find it very satisfying to read and review things I’m excited about around the time that they’re published so I can help contribute to buzz for authors. Thank you to the publishers and libraries who support my reading habit!
The Rose Code by Kate Quinn
The Rose Code is the story of three very different women serving as code breakers at Bletchley Park in the lead up to WWII and their reunion years later when they have to work together to solve one last coded mystery.
If you like The Crown, The Bletchley Circle, or stories about women doing incredible things then this book is for you! It took me a while to read since it’s quite long (although that makes sense considering it covers such a long period of time), and I found the technical descriptions of code breaking to be a little confusing, but I found the characters to be distinct and compelling. And the way the author wrapped everything up in a bow was great – the last fifth of the book was my favorite part.
The author’s note at the end really added to the story so be sure to read all the way through.
PS: Wondering how this one was related to the royal family? One of the characters dates Prince Philip before he marries the Queen!
Note: Thank you to William Morrow Books who sent me an Advanced Review Copy of the book in exchange for a fair review.
Elizabeth & Margaret by Andrew Morton
Are the episodes about Princess Margaret your favorite part of The Crown? Then you’ll have a blast reading Elizabeth & Margaret by royal biographer Andrew Morton.
The book is described as an account of Queen Elizabeth’s relationship with her sister, the late Princess Margaret, but it definitely focuses more heavily on Princess Margaret and her many romances over the course of her lifetime. If you’ve read and watched a lot about the royals then you won’t learn much from this book, but you may enjoy hearing the same stories you already know told from different perspectives. For example, I found it interesting to hear another possible interpretation of Margaret’s relationship with Group Captain Peter Townsend. It was covered very heavily in Season 1 of The Crown but Morton suggests there may have been more to the relationship than was shown on the show.
Note: Thank you to Grand Central Publishing who sent me an Advanced Review Copy of the book in exchange for a fair review.
Finding Freedom by Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand
Finding Freedom by former British Royal Family reporters Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand is billed as a behind-the-scenes look at the relationship between Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. But really it feels like everything in the book was fed to Scobie and Durand by Harry and Meghan themselves. Either that or literally all of their closest friends are untrustworthy assholes.
It’s pretty poorly written and much of it was hard to read without cringing. That said, I did parts of it to be enlightening (specifically the parts about Meghan’s relationship with her father and Harry’s struggles with anger, depression, and PTSD) and if you watched the interview the couple did with Oprah and are dying for more scoop then you may enjoy this book.
If you’ve been following me on my personal Instagram this month then you won’t be surprised to hear that I think my April reading is going to focus on the Space Race! I’ve been on a major space kick recently after reading In the Quick (review here) and watching Hidden Figures. Do you have any space related books, movies, or TV shows to recommend?