Lady Clementine
by Benedict, Marie

The best-selling author of The Only Woman in the Room presents a historical tale inspired by the life of Clementine Churchill that traces her unflinching role in protecting the life and wartime agendas of her husband, Winston Churchill.

Benedict (The Only Woman in the Room, 2019) shines a light on another under-celebrated woman in history, in this case, Clementine Churchill, wife of Sir Winston Churchill. Beginning on Clementine's wedding day in 1909 and tracing key events in her life for the next 35 years, the book focuses on Clementine's struggle to be both an emotional and intellectual support to her demanding husband, her mixed feelings about motherhood, and her own strongly held political beliefs, which she was often forced to sideline in service of her husband's ambition. The first half of the book jumps through key events in the first 30 years of her marriage, including the death of one of her children and her complicated relationship with Winston, before delving deep into Clementine's role during her husband's wartime tenure as prime minister. Although the frequent jumps forward in time occasionally lead to choppy pacing, Benedict's well-researched, illuminating account of a complex, intelligent woman will undoubtedly be enjoyed by fans of Melanie Benjamin and Nancy Horan. Copyright 2019 Booklist Reviews.

Determined to support her husband in his political work through two world wars, Clementine Churchill becomes a powerful role model for women. Benedict (The Only Woman in the Room, 2019, etc.) continues her series of historical novels based on the lives of influential women too often overlooked. The children of neglectful mothers, both Clemmie and Winston Churchill are immediately drawn to each other. Once married, they seek security in their marriage, not only producing five children, but also charting together Winston's phenomenal career. Cat and Pug, as Clemmie and Winston affectionately called one another, navigate nearly every political crisis together. On the homefront, Clemmie must face down dangers of a more domestic sort, too, including managing houses on shoestring budgets and defending her husband from angry suffragists wielding whips and jealous women vying for his affections. Keeping Clemmie by his side helps the notoriously brusque Winston navigate stormy domestic and international waters, from the disasters of the WWI campaign in the Dardanelles to the heights of his service as prime minister defeatin g Hitler. Throughout it all, as half of a power couple, Clemmie faces criticism from her own friends and sister for the unwomanly nature of her work. Indeed, she questions her own fitness as a mother, as she finds more passion in her work than in raising her children. Benedict capitalizes on the Churchills' long, storied lives to generate a fast-paced narrative: Gallipoli leads to Winston's stint on the front lines of WWI swiftly followed by 2-year-old Marigold's death, Winston's campaign against the Nazis, and finally his triumphant return to the House of Commons. The thrilling ride is marred only by repetitive scenes of an impassioned Winston lashing out at Clemmie, whose stern looks immediately remind her Pug to take better care of his Cat. A rousing tale of ambition and love. Copyright Kirkus 2019 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

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