That Churchill Woman

That Churchill Woman

A Novel

Book - 2019 | First edition
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The story of Winston Churchill's scandalous American mother, Jennie Jerome. Wealthy, privileged, and fiercely independent New Yorker Jennie Jerome took Victorian England by storm when she landed on its shores. As Lady Randolph Churchill, she gave birth to a man who defined the twentieth century: her son Winston. But Jennie--reared in the luxury of Gilded Age Newport and the Paris of the Second Empire--lived an outrageously modern life all her own, filled with controversy, passion, tragedy, and triumph. When the nineteen-year-old beauty agrees to marry the son of a duke she has known only three days, she's instantly swept up in a whirlwind of British politics and the breathless social climbing of the Marlborough House Set, the reckless men who surround Bertie, Prince of Wales. Raised to think for herself and careless of English society rules, the new Lady Randolph Churchill quickly becomes a London sensation: adored by some, despised by others. Artistically gifted and politically shrewd, she shapes her husband's rise in Parliament and her young son's difficult passage through boyhood. But as the family's influence soars, scandals explode and tragedy befalls the Churchills. Jennie is inescapably drawn to the brilliant and seductive Count Charles Kinsky--diplomat, skilled horse-racer, deeply passionate lover. Their impossible affair only intensifies as Randolph Churchill's sanity frays, and Jennie--a woman whose every move on the public stage is judged--must walk a tightrope between duty and desire. Forced to decide where her heart truly belongs, Jennie risks everything--even her son--and disrupts lives, including her own, on both sides of the Atlantic. Breathing new life into Jennie's legacy and the gilded world over which she reigned, That Churchill Woman paints a portrait of the difficult--and sometimes impossible--balance between love, freedom, and obligation, while capturing the spirit of an unforgettable woman, one who altered the course of history.
Publisher: New York : Ballantine Books, an imprint of Random House, [2019]
Edition: First edition
Copyright Date: ©2019
ISBN: 9781524799564
Branch Call Number: FIC
Characteristics: 387 pages ; 25 cm


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May 29, 2020

I was really anxious to read this book but was somewhat disappointed. The author obviously did a lot of research to make this novel historically accurate. I found it difficult to follow at times because it lacked smoothness when going from past to present and even from chapter to chapter. One does learn why Jenny Jerome acquired her reputation (not always good). Reading a true biography would probably be better.

Dec 28, 2019

What a fascinating read! It was hard to put down - a great storyline plus really interesting insights into the late 19th century on both sides of the pond.

Mar 18, 2019

About all I knew about Jennie Churchill was that she was a rich American who married Randolph Churchill and was Winston’s mother. How many of the rich American girls/titled European men marriages were even marginally happy? The author maintains that Jennie loved Randy and stuck by him even as his syphilis destroyed his career, his body and his life. But she was 19 when she married him and he was distant emotionally and physically his entire life with her. She truly loved Charles Kinsky. Their relationship had depth, passion, realism and heartache. He was the love of her life, and they were never married, but he also loved and stood in as a father figure for her boys. The book chronicles her life while Randy was alive, but it also provides clues to Winston’s personality and choices in his later life.

Mar 17, 2019

Love Stephanie Barron and love "Lady Randy." Jennie Jerome Churchill.

I'm a Churchill buff, beginning with Sarah and John and continuing past Winston who gave the British Lion its roar, when it had little else going for it in WWII.

Jennie, "Lady Randy," died before Winston changed history. And, judging by his parents' neglect, it's a wonder he accomplished anything at all. He was barely literate as a child, but went on to publish over a million words ... and save his country from Hitler.

The Churchill women have always been spectacular, and sometimes peculiar. Gladys, a 20th century Duchess of Marlborough had cosmetic wax injections. They hardened into ugly lumps all over her face and she died in a rest home, all but anonymous. Winston's daughter-in-law, Pamela Harriman, slept with virtually everyone who was anyone in WWII ... and after. I could do on, but you get my drift.

This novel is based on some spectacular facts, but I never let facts get in the way of a good legend. Read and enjoy. It won't change your life, but it might make you stay up too late at night reading.

Mar 03, 2019

This combination of history and romance novel didn't work out very well, I didn't think. The author tried to cram too much history in to the point the names all ran together. The writing was lame I thought, "The snow kissed his face...". Altogether, even though her life at times was glamorous, she was confined to marriage and motherhood and societal roles that were stultifying. She was an interesting character in that she stumped for her husband's political career and read the news which was verboten to women of that time period and did get out of the confines as much as she could without damaging her children's future. I want to read a biography of her whole life to see how she helped Winston's career.

DCLadults Feb 13, 2019

A New & Noteworthy pick. A 19-year-old American beauty marries the son of a duke and becomes Lady Randolph Churchill. Here is the story of the mother of Winston Churchill.

Dec 29, 2018

A novel that pairs a favorite author with a fascinating subject? Yes, please! Having Millard's "Hero of the Empire" in mind made this book all the more compelling. Barron did extensive research and it shows in her treatment of the subject. Having glimpses of Jennie's childhood illuminated the choices she made in her adult life. It is so good to have another Stephanie Barron book to read! Would make a fine book group selection with much to discuss regarding women's rights, family dynamics, late 19th century politics and more.

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