Monday, April 6, 2009

Lots of Love and Intiruge in Palace Circle by Rebecca Dean

Palace Circle follows Delia, a Virginia belle who marries into the British Aristocracy, and her family, including her two daughters Petra and Davina, and their lovers, Jack and Darius, from the dawn of the 20th century to WWII. Each of the five characters narrates a section of the book, making for an interesting perspective on the historical events that frame the lives of these wealthy members of the elite British palace circle. The novel takes place in London, Virginia, and Cairo, so there is certainly enough going on to fill the 400 pages. There is tons of intrigue--both political and romantic--throughout the forty odd years covered by the novel, as well as any number of fashionable balls and brushes with royalty and other famous people. 

Palace Circle is a fast, light read, that gives you a different perspective on a fairly well known period in modern history. It was very enjoyable, but at times a little shallow, and the rotating narrator makes all of the characters other than the narrator of any given section feel a little flat. This novel would make for a good vacation or beach read--it's full of enough historical detail and famous faces to keep a smart reader interested, but its also light enough with lots of romance and partying. It's not great literature, but I thoroughly enjoyed this romp through elite Britain.

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