The Second Last Woman in England by Maggie Joel

First, I think I should start off by saying that I loved The Past and Other Lies by the same author. It was clever, intriguing and beautifully written. So naturally, I was expecting something similar from this book.

Er, no.

This book is beautifully written- so much so that I could imagine 1950s London perfectly in my head- but there’s none of the thinking or linking between the characters that the previous book had. Once again, nothing it was it seems, but when it’s revealed (eg. Harriet’s relationship to Freddie) it’s neither shocking nor interesting.

This book starts and ends with the murder of Mr Wallis. Poor bloke, he had a rough time in my opinion. While it’s clever to tell the ending and then the events leading up to it, I was constantly waiting for the twists and intrigue to start. It didn’t happen. I felt the epilogue was rushed (like in the last Harry Potter book) and too tidy.

Perhaps this book was meant to be frightfully restrained to mimic the time period. But for a modern reader and a highly explosive subject, I was expecting a bit more passion.

Read from June 06 to 12, 2010, rating 6 out of 10.

Thanks to Goodreads for the book cover picture.

2 thoughts on “The Second Last Woman in England by Maggie Joel

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    1. Yep, that’s exactly what it was – dull. I understand that restraint fit in with the time and stereotypes of the characters, but I’d hate for people to read this and then not The Past and Other Lies!

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