Author: C. J. Carey
Series: Rose Ransom #2
Published by: Sourcebooks Landmark on Jul. 18, 2023
Genres: Historical Fiction, Mystery/Thriller, Science Fiction
Source: Sourcebooks Landmark
Book Rating: 8/10
The thrilling sequel to Widowland, a feminist dystopian novel set in an alternative history that terrifyingly imagines what a British alliance with Germany would look like if the Nazis had won WWII.
London, 1955. The Leader has been dead for two years. His assassination, on British soil, provoked violent retribution and intensified repression of British citizens, particularly women. Now, more than ever, the Protectorate is a place of surveillance and isolation―a land of spies.
Every evening Rose Ransom looks in the mirror and marvels that she’s even alive. A mere woman, her role in the Leader’s death has been miraculously overlooked. She still works at the Culture Ministry, where her work now focuses on poetry, which has been banned for its subversive meanings, emotions, and signals that cannot be controlled.
A government propaganda drive to promote positive images of women has just been announced ahead of a visit from Dwight D. Eisenhower, the first American president to set foot on English soil in two decades. Queen Wallis Simpson will be spearheading the campaign, and Rose has been tasked with visiting her to explain the plan. When Rose arrives at the palace, she finds Wallis in a state of paranoia, desperate to return to America and enjoy the liberty of her homeland following her husband’s death. Wallis claims she has a secret document so explosive that it will blow the Protectorate apart. But will the last queen of England pull the trigger on the Alliance?
Unique, mysterious, and pensive!
Queen Wallis is a dark, sinister tale that picks up two years after Widowland left off, taking us back to a dystopian London during 1955 where the German Protectorate is still in rule and working hard to create his perfect society, espionage and repression are both still in abundance, Edward Vlll is dead, Queen Wallis remains though with little power or position, the American President and First Lady are set to make a surprise visit, women are still segregated based on attractiveness, reproductive capabilities, and age, and higher-caste Rose Ransom is still rewriting literature while doing whatever she can to empower women to fight for the respect and freedom they rightly deserve.
The prose is intense and rich. The characters are passionate, sly, and resilient. And the plot is a gripping tale of surveillance, segregation, courage, social injustice, politics, manipulation, control, suppression, and power.
Overall, Queen Wallis is an intricate, thought-provoking, creative sequel by Carey that incorporates a compelling mix of historical figures, atmospheric settings, and what-if fiction into an entertaining tale that’s bursting with feminism, intrigue, and action.
This novel is available now.
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Thank you to Sourcebooks Landmark for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.