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The 6pm Frazzled Mums' Club by Nina Manning #Review

I am delighted to be part of the celebrations for the publication of Nina Manning's The 6pm Frazzled Mums' Club . It was published by Boldwood Books on September 26th.     Whatever the question, the answer is wine! They’ve swapped the dark and lonely baby days for school gate chaos, but Aisha, Sophy and Mel are discovering that there are new parenting pitfalls just waiting for them… Influencer Sophy, is trying to keep on top of home and work life but is finding it all a bit tough! Everyone thinks she’s living her best life, but the pressure to maintain perfection at the school gates when all she wants to do is cry, is taking its toll on Sophy. Aisha doesn’t know what to do with all her spare time now her twins are at school. Maybe it’s time to focus on herself and the dreams she’s put on hold? But when her mum suddenly begins to feel unwell, Aisha has to rethink everything. And when Mel is offered a chance to live her dream, she grabs it with both hands. But there’

James the Third by Maggie Ballinger #Review

Now for something a little different. An alternative historical novel, James the Third, published by Unicorn on February 6th to coincide with HM the Queen's Platinum Jubilee. 

What if Queen Elizabeth, consort of George VI, had given birth to a son in the late 1940s?

In 1936, the Duke of York unexpectedly became King George VI, and his ten-year-old daughter, Princess Elizabeth, became heir presumptive. However, she was never heir apparent, because a male sibling would automatically assume her place in the line of succession. So what would have happened upon the late arrival of a baby brother for the grown-up Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret? After King George VI’s death in 1952, the United Kingdom’s next sovereign would have been a very young boy, and one in need of a regent.

James the Third tells that boy’s story. How does his reign unfold? He is clever, resourceful and unconventional− but can he alter the course of history, given the limited role of a constitutional monarch? Does he find true love, or must he accept second best? And, with the births of his heirs, what does the House of Windsor look like now? Set against rapidly changing times, there is a parallel tale of two working class sisters from the East End of London. As fans of the royal family, they are closer to the crown than they could ever imagine.

Seamlessly blending the twists and turns of fiction with historical fact, this book is sure to please anyone who enjoys a glimpse of life behind palace walls

My Thoughts

 This novel takes you on an enjoyable journey through the twentieth century and blends together actual events, historical figures and some deliciously invented fictitious characters. There are plenty of notes at the end if you want to check out some of the events but for anyone who has lived through the second half of the twentieth century, many of them sound strangely familiar. Of course it is a great idea to invent a third child for George VI and Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, or as she becomes in this book, 'the King's Mother'. 

    Alongside the royal events, you follow a working class London family and in parallel to Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret, two daughters. You get to see their attitude to the royal events. The character of James the Third is quick witted, intelligent and empathetic. I loved how he had what was termed the 'Cassandra Syndrome' as he seemed destined to utter true prophecies which were largely ignored. This was a truly enjoyable read which contained a surprising mystery, alongside a wealth of historical information.

In short: An entertaining piece of historical fiction.

About the Author

Maggie Ballinger was born in Crewe, brought up in South London and now lives in Sheffield. She studied European History at the University of East Anglia and later obtained an MA in International History from Birkbeck College, London. Since retiring as a hospital manager, much of her time has been spent writing an eclectic range of material. She is the author of Britannia’s Glory – A Maritime Story (Uniform) and the illustrated children’s book Baa Baa Pink Sheep. 

You can follow Maggie here: Twitter  |Website

Book link: Amazon UK

Thanks to Maggie Vallinger, Unicorn and Anne Cater of Random Things Tours for a copy of the book and a place on the tour.

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