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Palace Circle: Book summary and reviews of Palace Circle by Rebecca Dean

Palace Circle

by Rebecca Dean

Palace Circle
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  • Published in USA  Mar 2009
    432 pages
    Genre: Love Stories

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Book Summary

Paperback Original.

Delia Chandler, an eighteen-year-old southern girl, marries Viscount Ivor Conisborough just before WWII, and becomes part of the Windsor court. It’s every girl’s dream come true. But Delia is jolted from her pleasant life when she realizes, after the birth of her two daughters, that Ivor chose her only to bear an heir to his estate. Shortly thereafter, she begins an affair with her husband’s handsome, titled, and frequently scandalous best friend.

When Conisborough is appointed as an adviser to King Fuad of Egypt, Delia exchanges one palace circle for another, far different one. While she regards Egypt as a place of exile, separating her from the man she deeply loves, her two daughters regard Egypt as their home. It is a division of loyalties that becomes increasingly marked as Egypt struggles to free itself from British occupation, and only when war comes to Cairo—and Delia finally reveals the secret she has kept for so long—can she begin to heal the divisions separating her from those she loves.

Rebecca Dean’s irresistible combination of real events and masterful storytelling will keep readers fascinated until the very last page. Recommended for fans of Penny Vincenzi and Barbara Taylor Bradford.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Dean beautifully captures the mood and color of the era—her descriptive passages are marvelous and complement the layered intrigue, romance and deception." - Publishers Weekly.

"Cataclysmic world and family crises entertainingly refracted through a prism of privilege." - Kirkus Reviews.

Palace Circle is vivid and tender, deeply enthralling. Rebecca Dean has written a timeless novel." - Luanne Rice.

"Palace Circle is a gem, filled with dashing lords, surprisingly gutsy ladies, family secrets, and royal intrigue. As Rebecca Dean moves her remarkable characters between London and Cairo, you will be utterly transported along with them." - Barbara Delinsky.

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Reader Reviews

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Brianne

Palace Circle
I really enjoyed reading Palace Circle by Rebecca Dean. The author did a wonderful job of creating characters that were both realistic and easy to relate to. The plot held my attention from the first page to the very last and I never really wanted to put the book down.

Thanks for giving me the opportunity to read this book with the First Impressions program.

Elizabeth, Amigos Library Services, Dallas, TX

Palace Circle: A Fascinating Journey
Rebecca Dean's historical novel, Palace Circle, overflows with intriguing characters living life in the tumultuous years spanning World War I and leading up to World War II The story, set in Virginia, London and Cairo, and mingling historical people with the fictional cast of characters, is told from the perspectives of the mother, Delia, and four young people, her two daughters and the men they love.

One of the most interesting aspects of the book was the multi-generational and multicultural perspectives shown by the characters. Delia grew up in Virginia, married and moved to London, and spent time in Cairo because of her husband's diplomatic work. The daughters, raised in Cairo, have varying perspectives on England, Egypt and how to live life. One young man is Egyptian, the other English. Some of the famous people you will meet in the book are Wallis Simpson, Edward VIII, Churchill, Nasser and Sadat. I felt like I was swept away to a world I knew little about and didn't want to leave. If you like books that combine history, romance, characters with depth, and exotic settings, you will have a hard time putting this book down. I look forward to reading more of Ms. Dean's books.

Beverly

Palace Circle
A spunky American girl weds a upper-crust English nobleman and brings her free-thinking ways to the English society. The book spans two world wars, has a number of juicy family scandals and locations ranging from VIrginia, London, and Cairo. As a librarian who does some Reader's Advisory, this will be an interesting book to recommend for those vaguely unfamiliar with WWI, England's interest in empire building, social reforms in England and Egyptian slums, and a woman's changing place in society.

Marjorie

Palace Circle by Rebecca Dean
This is a great book for fans of historical novels. I have read every Philippa Gregory book I could get my hands on and found this novel to be right up there on the same level of interest. The plot was fast moving and the history of Cairo during World War II was new to me and very interesting. I really enjoyed Delia's character. I will be looking for Rebecca Dean's next novels.

Brenda

A New Story on an Old Subject
Having recently read countless books on WW II, a surprise was to unfold as this story took on Egypt's part in this war. Who thinks of Egypt when on the subject of Hitler or the Holocaust?

The only fault with this story is the necessity to mention how gorgeous and well-dressed the main characters are. It was actually annoying at times because there was a fantastic story to be told and it would have been just as good with plain-looking heroes/heroines.

The ending was also a surprise...a nice one, but still unexpected.

This was a great read and I would recommend it to anyone...even those who say "please not another WWII book"!

Virginia

Palace Circle
If you enjoy reading Penny Vincenzi and Barbara Taylor Bradford, I think you will enjoy this book. I love reading books that take place in the 1920-30s and have loads of detail about the parties the characters attend along with what they are wearing. Many real historical figures are included, such as the Duke and Duchess of Wales (before they became the Duke and Duchess) and Anwar Sadat. But the book does take a serious turn when it turns to Egyptian politics pre-WWI and during the war. I didn't want the book to end.

...12 more reader reviews

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More Information

More Information

Born in Yorkshire, Rebecca Dean lives in London, England, with her husband and two small dogs. This is her second novel but first to be published in the USA. Palace Circle was first published in the UK in 2008 as A Dangerous Desire.

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