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Park Lane Paperback – June 12, 2012
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"Though Bea and Edward are virtually unacquainted with Grace and Michael, the lives of all four already are more connected than they can imagine. And those connections will become more complex—and, in Osborne’s hands, intriguing—as war begins to impact the foundations of British society." —The Star-Ledger
"Fans of Downton Abbey will have plenty of reading choices this summer to fill the void left by the popular television series, including Frances Osborne's second novel.” —Minneapolis Star-Tribune
Acclaim for Frances Osborne's The Bolter:
“Fascinating. . . beautifully written. . . . Frances Osborne brings the decadence of Britain’s dying aristocracy vividly to life in this story of scandal and heartbreak.” —Simon Sebag Montefiore, author of Young Stalin and Stalin: Court of the Red Tsar
“Osborne spins out an enjoyable pot-boiler, with lots of juicy details.” —New York Post
“[A] wildly entertaining biography.” —More
“For those who can’t ever get enough of the frolics and affairs of the British upper class in the ‘20s and ‘30s, this is the book for you. . . . Brilliant and utterly divine. . . . Full of charming details and wonderfully good stories about old scandals. . . . It’s a breath of fresh air from a vanished world.” —Michael Korda, The Daily Beast
“Osborne has written an engaging book, drawing a revealing portrait of a remarkable woman and adding humanity to her 'scandalous' life. . . . And what a life it was." —The Wall Street Journal
About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
Divided into years, the story covers 1914 to 1923 (with a gap between 1918 and 1923). This is a tumultuous age in England; WW I, socialism and the women's suffrage movement all changed the lives of rich and poor alike. There is violence at the suffragette rallies, incredible loss of life in the trenches of WW I, post traumatic stress for both men and women (who drive ambulances in the war zones and nurse the torn up men), class differences come to mean a *little* less, and women gain more freedom well before they get the vote.
I enjoyed the book- I find the era fascinating (while a fan of Downton, I first was introduced to the era when PBS ran `The Forsyte Saga' way back around 1970) and Osborne knows the time intimately- she had to, to write the brilliant biography `The Bolter'- and she has a great power of description. But I feel the book could have been better.Read more ›
I kept interested through about half of the book as various situations involving the two develop. But shortly after the halfway point, the point where many books become more intensely interesting, it seems to me that this one feel apart, and rapidly. I had to sort of plough through the war years and the aftermath. These were points of the novel that, in my mind, could have been the epitome, but such wasn't the case.
So I don't urge you to read this nor do I urge you to avoid it. If you enjoy tories of the upper class and their servants during the years from 1814-1818, then do take a look at this and decide for yourself.
Seeing some of the negative reviews on this page was puzzling at first, but reading through them I have the feeling that these readers were expecting more of a light, 'romance' read, or a frothy sex romp, or something. But this is a fully realized novel with three-dimensional characters living out their story at a crucial period in world history.
In short---Buy it, read it, you won't be disappointed. You'll be looking forward to many more fine novels from Osborne in the coming years!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I got sucked into reading this book by the promise that it will appeal to Downton Abbey fans, plus I love reading about early 20th century and WWI. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Anna
I truly enjoyed this story. It was a little slow in the beginning, but that was to carefully set up the reader for all the events in the coming chapters. Read morePublished 18 months ago by C Thompson
Thankfully I got this from the library and didn't pay for it. It had potential but is SO slow paced and the characters could have been interesting or sympathetic if the author had... Read morePublished on February 6, 2014 by AXiD
I'm reading this book now and it very slightly resembles Downton Abbey. Yes, there are the downstairs personnel that keep the house running, but I'm presently into about 105 pages... Read morePublished on September 5, 2013 by Joan M. Poole
Downton Abbey fans will be satisfied with this basic plot points novel. It contains many of the same hackneyed plots as the show minus the witty dialogue and pretty costumes. Read morePublished on July 21, 2013 by AUPoohBear
I had some difficulty getting through this novel. I never truly connected with the plot or characters. Read morePublished on June 27, 2013 by ardnam
Very choppy, bounces back and forth and that is confusing. Does get better as the book progresses, but overall I did not love it.Published on May 29, 2013 by skippytwin
Enjoyed the context. Author wrote so that I could relate to each character and the role of his/her life. Surprise ending.Published on May 22, 2013 by betz