The Coronation Year by Jennifer Robson
400 pages, Paperback
Expected publication April 4, 2023
Genre: Historical Ficton
Taken from Goodreads: The USA Today bestselling author of The Gown returns with another enthralling and royal-adjacent historical novel—as the lives of three very different residents of London’s historic Blue Lion hotel converge in a potentially explosive climax on the day of Queen Elizabeth’s Coronation.
It is Coronation Year, 1953, and a new queen is about to be crowned. The people of London are in a mood to celebrate, none more so than the residents of the Blue Lion hotel.
Edie Howard, owner and operator of the floundering Blue Lion, has found the miracle she needs: on Coronation Day, Queen Elizabeth in her gold coach will pass by the hotel’s front door, allowing Edie to charge a fortune for rooms and, barring disaster, save her beloved home from financial ruin. Edie’s luck might just be turning, all thanks to a young queen about her own age.
Stella Donati, a young Italian photographer and Holocaust survivor, has come to live at the Blue Lion while she takes up a coveted position at Picture Weekly magazine. London in celebration mode feels like a different world to her. As she learns the ins and outs of her new profession, Stella discovers a purpose and direction that honor her past and bring hope for her future.
James Geddes, a war hero and gifted artist, has struggled to make his mark in a world that disdains his Indian ancestry. At the Blue Lion, though, he is made to feel welcome and worthy. Yet even as his friendship with Edie deepens, he begins to suspect that something is badly amiss at his new home.
When anonymous threats focused on Coronation Day, the Blue Lion, and even the queen herself disrupt their mood of happy optimism, Edie and her friends must race to uncover the truth, save their home, and expose those who seek to erase the joy and promise of Coronation Year.
My Thoughts: Usually when I read about Her Majesty and it tells her story, in this book you hear the story of a hotel that is on the parade route. The struggles it has to stay afloat, and the way the coronation affects its tenants and the owner.
I enjoyed the characters and they strength of Edie, the hotel owner. She took her family hotel, which had been struggling for years, and was doing all that she could to keep it running. I could relate to how she felt the need to succeed and not let her parents down (my parents had their own family diner that I helped run). The variety of backgrounds from the other characters kept the story interesting with unique points of view.
Coronation Year is not a quick read but it is a book I would recommend. I love learning about the history of Queen Elizabeth and this book shows a unique look into the world around the coronation, not just the actual event.
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Meet Jennifer Robson (Taken from Goodreads): Jennifer Robson first learned about the Great War from her father, acclaimed historian Stuart Robson, and later served as an official guide at the Canadian National War Memorial at Vimy Ridge, France. A former copy editor, she holds a doctorate in British economic and social history from the University of Oxford. She lives in Toronto, Canada, with her husband and young children.
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