Book Review: The Secret Life of Mrs. London

The Secret Life of Mrs. LondonAbout the book:

San Francisco, 1915. As America teeters on the brink of world war, Charmian and her husband, famed novelist Jack London, wrestle with genius and desire, politics and marital competitiveness. Charmian longs to be viewed as an equal partner who put her own career on hold to support her husband, but Jack doesn’t see it that way…until Charmian is pulled from the audience during a magic show by escape artist Harry Houdini, a man enmeshed in his own complicated marriage. Suddenly, charmed by the attention Houdini pays her and entranced by his sexual magnetism, Charmian’s eyes open to a world of possibilities that could be her escape.

As Charmian grapples with her urge to explore the forbidden, Jack’s increasingly reckless behavior threatens her dedication. Now torn between two of history’s most mysterious and charismatic figures, she must find the courage to forge her own path, even as she fears the loss of everything she holds dear.

My thoughts:

Jack London is known for being a prolific writer. He is well known today for his two novels, White Fang and The Call of the Wild but who is the man behind the stories? What was his personal life like and who were the people in his life that supported his work? When I spotted this book at NetGalley I crossed my fingers and hoped I would get a review copy and sure enough, I did. I can’t tell you how thrilled I was to be accepted to review this book. I absolutely love it when modern writers write about other writers about their commercial successes-if you will. After reading The Secret Life of Mrs. London, I started to research him further and what I found made such a bigger impression on this story. Jack London lived quite a life to say the least…

This story is told in Mrs. London’s-Jack’s second wife-point of few and it was extraordinary! I was captivated right from the start to finish, I didn’t want the story to end to be honest. I was quite envious of the authors beautiful flow of story-telling, she weaved the story so in tuned with that era and captured so eloquently what life must have been like for Mrs. Jack London. She was an intriguing woman and contributed to Jack’s work in a big way. When reading this story, you realize that without her in Jack’s life, you question if he would have been the writer he is known for.

I would also like to add that I enjoyed the passages from London’s books at the beginning of each chapter. The only problem I had with this story is that it ended.

Wonderfully drawn characters, beautiful prose, larger than life story-telling and a story I will hold close to my heart for a long time to come. I highly recommend this book to all and hope to see more stories like this from this author. I am a big fan!

Five-star rating!

I obtained a copy from the publishers through NetGalley for an honest review.

Stephanie M. Hopkins


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