FICTION

Lady Clementine

Sourcebooks Landmark. Jan. 2020. 336p. ISBN 9781492666905. $26.99. F
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Behind every successful man, they say, stands a strong woman. Lady Clementine Churchill was an example of such, as this self-narrated fictional recounting makes clear. Benedict (The Only Woman in the Room) takes readers through the First World War and the period between wars and concludes Clementine’s story on V-E Day, marking the end of World War II on the European front. Clementine Hozier survives a peripatetic childhood with a mother who cares more for her many illicit affairs than for her children, but Clementine, reserved and intelligent, comes through with a strong will and keen political mind. She was in many ways the perfect partner for British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, who sometimes needed a guiding voice to keep him on topic, as well as someone to cater to his whims. While Clementine did that, she also kept herself in the thick of political life with her husband and later became an important figure in her own right.
VERDICT 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. [See Prepub Alert, 7/1/19.]

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