I’m pleased to be sharing my review today for The Second Marriage by Gill Paul (published as Jackie and Maria in the USA). Thank you to Anne from Random Things Tours for inviting me to join the blog tour and thank you to Avon Books for a digital proof copy via NetGalley. My thoughts about the book are my own and not influenced by the gift. To catch up on the other reviews, please see the details for the other blog tour members below.
When her first marriage ends in tragedy, Jackie Kennedy fears she’ll never love again. But all that changes when she encounters…
Successful and charming, Ari Onassis is a man who promises her the world. Yet soon after they marry, Jackie learns that his heart also belongs to another…
A beautiful, famed singer, Maria Callas is in love with Jackie’s new husband – and she isn’t going to give up.
Little by little, Jackie and Maria’s lives begin to tangle in a dangerous web of secrets, scandal and lies. But with both women determined to make Ari theirs alone, the stakes are high. How far will they go for true love?
This is my first Gill Paul novel and I thoroughly enjoyed the story. I was aware that Jackie Kennedy had been married to Aristotle Onassis after her first husband, Jack died, but I knew very little about the story before reading the book.
Gill Paul explains at the end of the book how she has mixed factual details (such as the details of the death of Jack Kennedy in Dallas), with fiction. This is primarily a piece of fiction based on real people. Many young people dream of being famous but this book shows why fame and money don’t guarantee happiness. Mixed amongst the glamour is anger, addiction and infidelity.
Without giving away any spoilers, I found myself feeling sorry for both Maria and Jackie. Both experienced tragedies and betrayals, and both loved Ari in very different ways. I feel that Gill Paul has been sympathetic to the plight of both her main female characters. My opinion of Ari worsened as the book progressed but as Gill Paul notes, the era this book was set in was was very different to the #MeToo era of 2020.
I loved the detailed descriptions from the story, including the places they visited, the food and drink they enjoyed, the outfits they wore. I’m happy to recommend this as an excellent and enjoyable piece of historical fiction – with a reminder that it is not a true story.
Gill Paul’s historical novels have reached the top of the USA Today, Toronto Globe & Mail and kindle charts, and been translated into twenty languages.
They include THE SECOND MARRIAGE (titled JACKIE AND MARIA in the US), two bestselling novels about the Romanovs – THE SECRET WIFE and THE LOST DAUGHTER – as well as WOMEN AND CHILDREN FIRST, which was shortlisted for the 2013 RNA Epic Novel of the Year award, NO PLACE FOR A LADY, shortlisted for a Love Stories award, and ANOTHER WOMAN’S HUSBAND, about links you might not have suspected between Wallis Simpson and Princess Diana.
Gill also writes historical non-fiction, including A HISTORY OF MEDICINE IN 50 OBJECTS, and she speaks at libraries and literary festivals on subjects ranging from the Titanic to the Romanovs.
Gill lives in London, where she is working on her tenth novel, and she swims daily in an outdoor pond.
- Paperback: 464 pages
- Publisher: Avon (17 Sept. 2020)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 000836625X
- ISBN-13: 978-0008366254