Another Woman’s Husband

Written by Gill Paul
Review by Edward James

Is there a secret connection between the death of Princess Diana in the Paris car crash in 1997 and Wallis Simpson and the Abdication Crisis of 1936? I was hooked immediately.

Like most conspiracy novels, Another Woman’s Husband is narrated in two time streams. The ‘modern’ stream is set in the latter part of 1997 and centres on a Brighton shopkeeper and her TV producer fiancé who is researching a programme on the fatal crash. The ‘historic’ stream runs from 1911 to 1941 and covers the life of Mary Kirk, lifelong friend and confidante of Wallis Simpson, who became the third Mrs Simpson after Wallis became the Duchess of Windsor. The modern time stream is entirely fictional, while the historic stream is based on well-documented facts which the author acknowledges in her notes.

As is often the case with novels written in two or more time periods, the streams are not of equal interest. Another Woman’s Husband would be well worth reading for the historic stream alone. Indeed, I think it would be a better book without Princess Diana or the Brighton shopkeeper.

So read it for a fresh view of the Abdication Crisis and the story of an unusual female friendship. Don’t worry about Diana.