Like a true-to-life fairytale, The Shadow Queen: A Novel of Wallis Simpson, Duchess of Windsor portrays the early life of Wallis Warfield Simpson, the woman who captivated the King of England, leading to his abdication from the throne.

Early childhood was one in which she was the “poor” relative dependent upon the largesse of a wealthy uncle, whose rules and expectations often led to times of doing without. Perhaps having to charm those in control of her destiny helped create the lively companion she became throughout her early and later life.

I loved this story, richly detailed with the fictional imaginings that made it spring to life and morph into a true fairytale. The real-life outcome for Wallis lent an extra magic to the story.

I was disappointed that the ending of this book occurred before Wallis and Prince Edward, who would be King, actually united. What the story did show us was the very special and magical connection between them.

While it was difficult to tell how much was fiction, the factual aspects drew me in. Now I want to know more about this historic love match. Four stars.

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