Lady Clementine Book Review

In certain segments of our society, both in the past and present, a woman’s highest achievement was having a Mrs. attached to her name and at least one child at her feet. While some women were content to live within those parameters, others have taken the bold step of being more than someone’s wife and mother.

Clementine Churchill was one of the females. Married to the late British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, she was more than his other half and the mother of their children. She was his unofficial right-hand woman and his most trusted advisor. Her story is told in the 2020 novel, Lady Clementine. Written by Marie Benedict, the narrative takes the reader through the first half of the twentieth century. It starts with the early days of their marriage and ends with World War II. Through the decades, she deals with personal issues, as well as the complications of being a politician’s wife and everything that comes with that.

Through it all, Clementine has a spine made of figurative steel, ambition, and a sharp mind that transforms her into a feminist icon and a female who was ahead of her time.

Like Benedict’s 2016 novel, The Other Einstein, and Victoria Kelly’s Mrs. Houdini: A Novel, this story gives Clementine a voice and a spotlight beyond her title as Mrs. Churchill. I can’t help but think that if she would have been alive today, she would have been a politician in her own right. It proves, that if given the opportunity, we can potentially succeed in areas that were previously out of reach due to our gender.

Do I recommend it? Absolutely.

Lady Clementine is available wherever books are sold.

Darkest Hour Movie Review

Winston Churchill was one of the greatest politicians and orators of the 20th century. He will go down in history as one of the men who saved Europe, democracy and Western civilization from the Nazis.

The new movie, Darkest Hour, starts off as World War II is beginning to engulf Europe. Neville Chamberlain (Ronald Pickup) is being forced to resign as Prime Minister due to his inability to lead the country during wartime become obvious. His chosen successor is Winston Churchill (Gary Oldman), whose reputation up to this point is not flawless. Churchill’s wife, Clemmie (Kristin Scott Thomas) convinces her husband to take the position. Meanwhile, Elizabeth Layton (Lily James) is hired as Churchill’s personal secretary. He is not the easiest man to work for.

Churchill has a choice to make. There is the possibility of making a deal with Germany and stopping the war in its tracks. Or, they could fight, knowing full well that lives will be lost in the process.

This movie is pure Oscar bait. Oldman’s performance is  truly exceptional. He is so good that I thought that at times, I was watching a documentary about Winston Churchill rather than watching a film with a fictional narrative and actor Gary Oldman playing Winston Churchill. I also appreciated that instead of putting Churchill on a pedestal, he is shown as a flawed human being who is suddenly thrust into a job that requires a decision that will forever change not just the fate of Europe, but the whole world.

I absolutely recommend it.

Darkest Hour is in theaters. 

 

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