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That Churchill Woman

A Novel
Written by: Stephanie Barron
Narrated by: Saskia Maarleveld
Length: 11 hrs and 46 mins
4 out of 5 stars (3 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The Paris Wife meets PBS’s Victoria in this enthralling novel of the life and loves of one of history’s most remarkable women: 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 20th 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 19-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 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 glittering world over which she reigned, That Churchill Woman paints a portrait of the difficult - and sometimes impossible - balance among love, freedom, and obligation, while capturing the spirit of an unforgettable woman, one who altered the course of history.

Praise for That Churchill Woman:

“The perfect confection of a novel.... We’re introduced to Jennie in all of her passion and keen intelligence and beauty. While she is surrounded by a cast of late-Victorian celebrities, including Bertie, Prince of Wales, it’s always Jennie who shines and takes the center stage she was born to.” (Melanie Benjamin, New York Times best-selling author of The Aviator’s Wife and The Swans of Fifth Avenue)

©2019 Stephanie Barron (P)2019 Random House Audio

What the critics say

“Stephanie Barron cuts through the scandal and rumors surrounding Lady Randolph Churchill to bring us the woman herself in all her complexity: caught between worlds as an American in England, an intimate of princes, a favorite target of the scandal sheets, yet intensely private and fiercely loyal. Barron brings us along with Jennie to a world seething with secrets behind a façade of intricate etiquette and elaborate gowns.... An immense accomplishment from a seasoned author.” (Lauren Willig, New York Times best-selling author of the Pink Carnation series)

“What a subject for a novel! And what a read for anyone interested in the lives of women who have, until now, been largely unexplored. Jennie Jerome, the feisty mother of Winston Churchill, had a luxurious existence that stretched from the upper echelons of American society to Paris and London. Yet this gilded life had more than its share of heartbreak and tragedy. Adored by some and loathed by others, Jennie chafed at the rigid conventions of the Victorian age. Stephanie Barron’s immersive and richly detailed story gives a fascinating glimpse into the lives of society women, as well as the early life of Churchill himself.” (Jane Thynne, author of the Clara Vine series)

“Finely researched, sumptuous.... Presenting a fiercely intelligent, independent version of Jennie, this satisfying book actively pushes back against her historical reputation as a scandalous woman to great, consuming effect.” (Publishers Weekly)

“The perfect confection of a novel... We’re introduced to Jennie in all of her passion and keen intelligence and beauty. While she is surrounded by a cast of late-Victorian celebrities, including Bertie, Prince of Wales, it’s always Jennie who shines and takes the center stage she was born to.” (Melanie Benjamin, New York Times bestselling author of The Aviator’s Wife and The Swans of Fifth Avenue)   

What members say

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Sharon
  • TX
  • 2019-05-06

A must read!

I thoroughly enjoyed this maturely written novel about Jenny Churchill. It's amazing what women will do to save face. What a shame it's like that, but she lived quite the life. Nonetheless, this could very well be one of the top 5 books I've ever read and I'm going to look into other books by this same author.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Paul W. Freely
  • Monroe, NY United States
  • 2019-03-15

Wonderful piece of Historical fiction

Th narrator Saskia Maarleveld makes this book and absolute delight to listen too. The story of Winston Churchill's American mother Lady Randy. I was enthralled by the story and the events in this remarkable woman's life. I hope we see more from this author about the later period of Jennie's life!

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • AmazonShopper
  • 2019-03-22

Great Book!

I loved this book. Couldn't wait to fined out what Jennie Jerome would do next!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Juana Dement
  • 2019-04-28

Very interesting Story

I enjoyed the story and the way it took the listener back through various points in Lady Churchill's life establishing a clearer look at her overall actions. I recommend it.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Mimi in McKinney
  • 2019-05-16

What a story!

I knew nothing about Jennie Jerome and I must admit her story was quite addictive. The narrator is wonderful and I highly recommend this as a summer read. Enjoy!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Mary Smiroldo
  • Corrales, NM
  • 2019-02-26

Weak

Reading and learning about historical figures is something I very much enjoy. I especially like hearing the “back story,” of famous people from the point of view of the wife, daughter, a maid, or other Involved person. “First Daughter,” is an excellent example, relating the role of Thomas Jefferson’s daughter and her influence in his political career. Another is “Jules and Julia,” the wife of Ulysses S. Grant, and her maid.
“The Churchill Woman,” however, is not in the same category. The writing, and especially the narration, fall far short of either of these. The story of Jenny Churchill turned into a cheap characterization of her romantic affairs, and very little about the part she played in the life of her son, Winston. At times, I became confused as to whether the title referred to Winston’s mother or grandmother! If the title had been “The Churchill Women,” it would have been much more appropriate.
In fact, a three part book about his grandmother, mother, and wife, and their influence on Winston’s life would have been much more interesting. Maybe I should write one!
My last comment concerns the narrator. I know Saskia Maarleveld narrates many novels. Fortunately, I have only listened to only two of them. Her voice is raspy and grates on my nerves, but because I wanted to hear the story, I tried to endure it. Her male voices are exactly the same, and, in a word, awful! I usually do not enjoy multiple voices narrating a book, but, in this case, it would have been extremely preferable. I would definitely not recommend this book to anyone.


9 of 17 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Michaele Frederick
  • 2019-06-13

Wonderful

As a fan of Winston Churchill I found it fascinating learning about his Mother’s life.

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  • Ruth
  • Norman, OK USA
  • 2019-04-11

Great Historical Fiction

The voice used for the various men was atrocious. The accents were not good either. The men all sounded like wimps while saying powerful things.

4 of 9 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Bonnie
  • 2019-04-01

so so

Interesting but slow. Was dry and ended abruptly. Very little detail of the government or her interaction with Winston. I would not recommend it.
It did not address her founding of the Primrose League, a sociopolitical organization that provided a forum for the discussion of the issues of the day. It did not address her raising of money for aid. It did not show off her wit.
"Treat your friends as you do your pictures, and place them in their best light." Lady Churchill. This book certainly does not do the same for Lady Churchill.

2 of 7 people found this review helpful