Summary and book reviews of Lady Clementine by Marie Benedict

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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About this Book

Book Summary

New from Marie Benedict, the New York Times bestselling author of The Only Woman in the Room! An incredible novel that focuses on one of the people who had the most influence during World War I and World War II: Clementine Churchill.

In 1909, Clementine steps off a train with her new husband, Winston. An angry woman emerges from the crowd to attack, shoving him in the direction of an oncoming train. Just before he stumbles, Clementine grabs him by his suit jacket. This will not be the last time Clementine Churchill will save her husband.

Lady Clementine is the ferocious story of the ambitious woman beside Winston Churchill, the story of a partner who did not flinch through the sweeping darkness of war, and who would not surrender either to expectations or to enemies.

CHAPTER ONE

September 12, 1908
London, England

I always feel different. No matter the sphere I inhabit, I always feel set apart. Even today. Especially today.

The weak, early September sun strains to break through the darkness of the cold morning. The pallid rays illuminate the cavernous bedroom assigned to me by my benefactress, Lady St. Helier. They hit the white satin dress hanging on the mannequin, reminding me that the gown waits for me.

As I finger the delicately embroidered, square-­cut bodice, its sleek Venetian fabric finer than any I've ever worn, I am seized by a sensation fiercer than the usual isolation that often besets me. I crave connection.

I hunt for the clothes the maids unpacked from my trunk and placed into the dresser drawers and mirrored armoire when I arrived at 52 Portland Place a fortnight ago. But I find nothing other than the corset and undergarments meant to be worn under the white gown today. Only then do I realize that the maids must have ...

Please be aware that this discussion guide may contain spoilers!
  1. Winston Churchill is one of the most recognizable figures of modern history. What did you know about his personal life before you read Lady Clementine? Did you have any understanding of his wife and children in particular, and did the book challenge any preconceived ideas about his private life?
  2. While Clementine's ancestral background was aristocratic, she grew up in relatively reduced financial circumstances, carrying the additional burdens of a peripatetic childhood and the uncertainty of her paternity. How did her unusual upbringing affect her behavior and opinions? How, in turn, did her belief system and background affect Winston, if at all?
  3. Lady Clementine opens with Clementine describing herself as being "set apart" from the rest...
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Reviews

BookBrowse Review

BookBrowse

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)...continued

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(Reviewed by BookBrowse First Impression Reviewers).

Media Reviews

Medium
Although before reading this captivating book, I didn’t know much about this remarkable woman, I came away with a better understanding of the difficulties this particular woman had in making history during a tumult time. Lady Clementine is a great universal story of the struggle of a woman having to overcome barriers in front of her due to the assumptions and ignorance of her abilities, and that of all women.

Kirkus Reviews
The thrilling ride is marred only by repetitive scenes of an impassioned Winston lashing out at Clemmie...A rousing tale of ambition and love.

Publishers Weekly
It's an intriguing novel, and the focus on the heroic counsel of a woman that has national and international impacts will resonate in the present day.

Booklist
Well-researched, illuminating account of a complex, intelligent woman.

Library Journal (starred review)
This outstanding story deserves wide readership. Fans of historical fiction, especially set around World War II; readers who appreciate strong, intelligent female leads; or those who just want to read a compelling page-turner will enjoy this gem of a novel.

Author Blurb Patti Callahan Henry, New York Times bestselling author of Becoming Mrs. Lewis
The atmospheric prose of Marie Benedict draws me in every single time. Lady Clementine's powerful and spirited story is both compelling and immersive. Benedict fully inhabits the measured and intelligent voice of Clementine Churchill. Entranced throughout, I discovered the secrets behind a familiar story I thought I knew. Deftly moving from the early nineteen hundreds through World War II, Benedict skillfully paints a vivid picture of the times and life of Clementine, the remarkable woman who was the steady force beside Winston Churchill.

Author Blurb Lynda Cohen Loigman, author of The Two-Family House and The Wartime Sisters
In her latest novel, Lady Clementine, Marie Benedict has gifted us all with another thoughtful and illuminating behind-the-scenes look at one of history's most unusual and extraordinary women. Benedict stuns readers with a glorious assortment of Clementine Churchill's most personal secrets: her scandalous childhood, her unexpected role as a social outsider, her maternal insecurities, and the daily struggles she faces to smooth her husband's political blunders and to keep up with his relentless demands for guidance and attention. With a historian's eye and a writer's heart, Benedict provides an unforgettable glimpse into the private world of a brilliant woman whose impact and influence on world events deserves to be acknowledged.

Author Blurb Susan Meissner, bestselling author of The Last Year of the War
Benedict is a true master at weaving the threads of the past into a compelling story for today. Here is the fictionalized account of the person who was the unequivocal wind beneath Winston Churchill's wings - a woman whose impact on the world-shaper that was WW2 has been begging to be told. A remarkable story of remarkable woman.

Reader Reviews

Davida Chazan

More Daring than Darling
Benedict uses her straightforward and uncompromising literary style to focus this novel mostly on Clementine’s life starting from when she met Winston in 1904, through 1945. That means the book encompasses both world wars. Think about it… to put 41 (...   Read More

Wendy F. (Kalamazoo, MI)

Bravo to Clemmie!!
I knew very little about Clementine Churchill before reading this book. Now I just want to learn more. She was a formidable woman who truly was the strength behind one of the most powerful men in the world at the time. It hearkens back to the ...   Read More

Annette S. (Duluth, GA)

Lady Clementine
Marie Benedict author of several books about little known women in history has created a very readable compelling tale of historical fiction about Clementine Churchill. The author portrays a very realistic picture of the victories and trials of what ...   Read More

Linda S. (Milford, CT)

Lady Clementine
I thoroughly enjoyed Lady Clementine by Marie Benedict. At their wedding in 1908, the bishop described Clementine's future as "an unwritten chapter" (page 22) along with "influence...exercised for good upon their husband's lives." She was 23 to his ...   Read More

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Beyond the Book

The Life and Accomplishments of Clementine Churchill

Clementine Churchill Clementine Churchill is best known as the wife of Winston Churchill, who held the office of British Prime minister during (1940-1945) and after (1951-1955) World War II. However, as is shown in Marie Benedict's novel Lady Clementine, while Clementine supported and assisted her husband in his governing endeavors, she held her own political opinions and was politically and socially active in her own right.

Clementine (pronounced "Clemen-teen"), who was born in 1885, experienced an unstable childhood due to various losses and upheavals. Her parents, Sir Henry Montague Hozier and Lady Blanche Hozier, were aristocrats notorious for their numerous affairs, which left doubt as to whether Henry was actually Clementine's father. Henry ...

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