That Churchill Woman
by Barron, Stephanie

A tale inspired by the life of Winston Churchill's scandal-marked American mother follows the experiences of a wealthy and fiercely independent New Yorker whose whirlwind romance with a duke's son sweeps her disruptively into British royalty and politics.

Stephanie Barron studied history at Princeton and Stanford, where she was an Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Fellow in the Humanities. She is the author of the historical suspense novels A Flaw in the Blood and The White Garden, as well as the critically acclaimed and nationally bestselling Jane Austen Mystery series. A former intelligence analyst for the CIA, Barron—who also writes under the name Francine Mathews—drew on her experience in espionage for such novels as Jack 1939, which The New Yorker described as “one of the most deliciously high-concept thrillers imaginable.” She lives and works in Denver, Colorado.

Barron, author of the Jane Austen mysteries (Jane and the Waterloo Map, 2016) turns her able hand to biographical fiction in this absorbing volume that captures the life and charm of one of the American heiresses who crossed the Atlantic to catch a titled English husband in the late nineteenth century. Lady Randolph Churchill, née Jennie Jerome, was a wealthy and privileged American, her father's indulged favorite, when she married the second son of a duke with a brilliant political career ahead of him. She went on to rise in aristocratic Victorian society, to the delight of some and horror of others, and give birth to future prime minister Winston Churchill, maintaining appearances as a society matron while living a modern and independent life of her own making, complete with passionate liaisons and artistic pursuits. She wrote speeches for her husband, entertained his parliamentary colleagues in her home, and parented his sons while he shaped England and traveled for his health after his political career ended. Recommended for fans of Victorian England, Gilded Age New York, historical fiction populated with real people, and high society. Copyright 2018 Booklist Reviews.

Jennie Jerome made a place for herself in history, rising through the British aristocracy via marriage and breaking social norms with her vivacious personality, fierce independence, and sexual escapades. And then she had a son, Winston Churchill. Born into an elite New York family, Jennie travels to England in 1873 as a striking 19-year-old and proceeds to attract admiration from men of all stripes. She matches flirtatious chatter easily but is most intrigued by Lord Randolph Spencer-Churchill and his stimulating intellectual conversation. After their impulsive marriage, she rises into high society as Randolph enters Parliament. We first meet the adult Jennie at a function at Sandringham. The men, including the Prince of Wales, vie for the honor of seating her at the table, but handsome Count Charles Kinsky makes sure she sits by him and thus begins a flirtation that morphs into more. Barron paints a picture of a beautiful woman with enough determination and animal magnetism to get what she wants, which is her husband's (and later, her son's) rise in politics...and the affections of men. Through the narrative, readers will see Jennie, watch her every move, and yet, maybe, not care very much. There is a subtle something lacking that leaves readers as spectators of, rather than vicarious participants in, Jennie's life. The story lacks forward momentum other than the passage of time, but the characters are captivating. Copyright Kirkus 2018 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

Terms of Use   ©Copyright 2019 Follett School Solutions