Gone with the Windsors

Written by Laurie Graham
Review by Andrea Connell

Written in diary form covering the years 1932 to 1946, these entries document the life of the fictional, recently widowed Maybell Brumby, Baltimore heiress and close friend of Wallis Simpson, the woman whose relationship with King Edward VIII led him to abdicate the throne. Through the eyes of the flighty, naïve socialite Maybell, we witness the courtship of the besotted Prince of Wales and wily, crafty Wallis, and the rise and fall of the clique surrounding the couple.

I found this book to be an enjoyable and, at times, witty read. At the beginning of the novel, references to social figures and places associated with Maybell’s circle come thick and fast and may be exasperating to some readers, but don’t let that stop you. You will get used to the names, and once the plot takes over it is difficult to put the book down. After overcoming my personal annoyance with Maybell’s flighty, judgmental, and shallow attitudes, I realized that the fact that this character provoked such strong feelings in me was a good thing. In fact, the portrayal of the Prince of Wales as childlike and hopelessly lovesick and Wallis as ruthless and manipulative gave the story a compelling push. It is a fun, light, summertime read.