The Woman Before Wallis is Thelma Furness. As the book opens, Thelma is married to her second husband and is having a public affair with the soon-to-be King Edward. She is called away to America to support her identical twin sister, Gloria Vanderbilt. Gloria is in the “Trial of the Century” to hold onto custody of her daughter, Gloria (later famous for her jeans).
While away, Edward starts frolicking with Thelma’s friend, Wallis Simpson. Wallis is also married forcing Edward to abdicate his crown to marry her.
The Woman Before Wallis is a largely unknown story that is extremely interesting. Everyone thinks earlier generations were staid and straight-laced. This tale proves differently. While the details within the book, like conversations and thoughts, are fictional, the overall plot is based on well-researched historical facts.
If you enjoy British or American royalty, you must read this compelling story. The rich really are different—regardless of their era. It’s the intelligent reader’s beach read. 4.5 stars!
Thanks to MIRA, Harlequin Books and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for my honest review.