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Publisher's Summary

England, 1936. A beloved king is dead, and by year’s end, the charismatic new monarch will give up his throne for love. The world is on the brink of war. And in the tumultuous intervening months, three outsiders will find themselves embroiled in the hidden truths, undeclared loves, unspoken sympathies, and covert complicities of a glittering high society in the throes of upheaval. After a long journey from her home in Barbados, May Thomas secures a position as a secretary and driver and opens her heart to a man seemingly beyond her reach. Outwardly affable American spinster Evangeline Nettlefold finds her place in the uppermost social circles, but her growing resentment toward her childhood friend Wallis Simpson predicts disaster. A friendship catapults Julian Richardson from his mother’s middle-class parlor to luxurious dinners with the king, yet he cannot forget those who struggle outside the gilded gates, nor his uneasy affection for May. As addictive as Downton Abbey, as poignant as The Remains of the Day, renowned historian Juliet Nicolson’s debut novel is a breathtaking story inspired by a love affair that shook the world at a time when order and chaos battled for supremacy.

©2012 Juliet Nicolson  (P)2014 Audible Inc.

Critic Reviews

“Goodness, Abdication really is good. I’m in awe of Juliet’s ability.” (Jessica Fellowes, New York Times best-selling author of The World of Downton Abbey)

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  • Rachel OK
  • 09-09-15

Lovely Listening, Eventually!

A bit if a slow start, I found, but once the story got going I really enjoyed this book. The early chapters are of course necessary to set the scene, but a little depressing. However, I did get a happy ending and overall this book is worth its 5 stars. Carol Boyd is her usual excellent self as the reader.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • One in Ten
  • 09-18-16

Not quite as advertised

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

Although titled Abdication, this is a rather minor part of the story. It mostly concerns various staff, family and friends of the King and Mrs Simpson. I had hoped top be better informed as to the reasons and detailed background of the abdication itself. This was only a fairly minor part of the whole.

What does Carole Boyd bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

Carole Boyd narrates the story perfectly and I enjoyed listening to her throughout.

Any additional comments?

If you want an 'above and below stairs' story of life among the different classes and people involved at the time of he abdication, then this will provide it. <br/><br/>If you wish to understand the background to the abdication... then look elsewhere.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • OSCARPOD
  • 02-24-16

I love Carol Boyd's narrative style as reader

and now I love this story too. I found the characters very real and engaging.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Vanessa Young
  • 05-13-17

Historians do not always make good novelists

I might have enjoyed this book more if I had not just heard a history of George VI, a biography of Mrs Simpson and read a book about Oswald Mosley's first wife and her sisters. I feel that this was just a collection of well known facts about a group of well known people with a couple of fictional characters thrown in and very little story to link them all together. I kept listening in the hope that something major would happen. Alas, nothing of real interest did happen.