BookBrowse Reviews Lady Clementine by Marie Benedict

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Lady Clementine

by Marie Benedict

Lady Clementine by Marie Benedict X
Lady Clementine by Marie Benedict
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  • First Published:
    Jan 2020, 336 pages
    Paperback:
    Jul 2020, 416 pages

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In Lady Clementine, Marie Benedict gives readers a unique, personal perspective on many historical events through her vivid fictional portrayal of a notable woman.

First Impressions reviewers thought highly of Marie Benedict's Lady Clementine. 19 out of 20 readers gave it four or five stars, resulting in an overall rating of 4.5.

What the book is about:

Lady Clementine by Marie Benedict is an unusual look at WWl and WWll history from the perspective of Winston Churchill's wife, Clementine. The book is written in her voice. She is a smart, ambitious woman who appears, at times, discontent to ride on his coattails (Janet H). Lady Clementine, a novel as opposed to a biography, portrays Clementine as the person who molded Winston Churchill into the leader he became, the behind-the-scenes adviser in both personal and political matters. The book focuses on the years from their meeting and marriage to the end of World War II, moving from one important date to the next (Carol C).

Readers felt the story was enhanced by the high level of real-life detail…

Marie Benedict creates a feeling of intimacy with the main characters by setting up vivid scenarios. I realize this is a work of historical fiction, but the book is so well researched and believable that I want this story to be the absolute truth (Jennifer B). I felt as if I were reading her personal diary (Wanda T). The reader becomes intimately involved in Clementine's lonely childhood, her unusual marriage, and her struggle with motherhood (Linda C).

...along with the engaging quality of the writing.

This book is well written, and I lost myself in its beautiful prose (Wendy F). Lady Clementine is an outstanding novel about a woman the world knows so little about. I know that I love a novel when it keeps me up at night and I would rather read than sleep. I felt like I was walking with her along the many twists and turns of her life (Audrey W).

Some thought the flow of the story could have been smoother,

I did feel that there could have been smoother transitions from one chapter to the next. Possibly the author wanted to set a quicker pace for readers as there was so much material to cover. I was enjoying the book so much that I wished it had delved more deeply into the story (Jennifer B). This is the first historical novel I have read that bounces through history from the viewpoint of the main character. While I found much of the book interesting, I did not like the bouncing—to read this book, one needs a good background in what was happening in England, and Europe, and who the various players were (Cynthia F).

but readers credit Lady Clementine for its historical insights…

The Crown generated my interest in the Churchill family, and Benedict's Lady Clementine provided compelling insights regarding the personal and political struggles and successes of this intriguing couple (Debra C). Clementine is portrayed as Winston's partner in both love and war. Her involvement in WWII sheds new light, at least from my perspective (Karna B). It was fascinating to learn how Clemmie addressed the special needs of women and children and also involved them directly in the response to Hitler's launch of the Battle of Britain. Highly recommended for lovers of historical fiction and especially British history (Sheryl M).

...and for their enthusiastic desire to learn more about Clementine's place in world events.

I knew very little about Clementine Churchill before reading this book. Now I just want to learn more (Wendy F). Now, after reading the book, I feel the need to explore more about the life of these two historical figures. Isn't that what good historical fiction should do, make us want to explore more about the subject? I see far-ranging ideas for book club groups as the readers discuss such topics as the effect of war on the day-to-day lives of the British people and the role Clementine Churchill played in serving the citizens—not just of Britain but other countries as well (Mary C).

This review was originally published in The BookBrowse Review in February 2020, and has been updated for the August 2020 edition. Click here to go to this issue.

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