Author: Rebecca Rosenberg
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Publish Date: January 30, 2018
What's the Story?:
From Goodreads.com: "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 Two Cents:
"The Secret Life of Mrs. London" is the story of famous writer, Jack London, and his wife, Charmian, who works with him to get all of his brilliant ideas and writing down on paper. They have a tumultuous, fascinating relationship. They are sparring partners: physically and mentally. They love each other but both of their gazes are often going in opposite directions. A chance encounter with infamous magician Harry Houdini will turn everything on its head.
This book initially ensnared me with the promise of giving a little insight into famous people like Jack London and Harry Houdini but once I opened the book, it was really Charmian that charmed me the most throughout this book. The characters are really the stand out feature of this book. She has a fantastic sense of adventure and thinks nothing of going off with Jack on another adventure. She isn't like many other women of her time and she lives on her own terms and makes her own rules for herself and for her relationships with others. I really loved that we got to see the action as she sees it throughout the book!
Before reading this book, I didn't know much about Jack London's personal life at all. One thing that I loved about this book is that it gives you a little insight into what kind of man he was. He obviously loved Charmian but it was mixed with a healthy dose of suspicion and jealousy. He was talented but never seemed to realize how much Charmian did to help him with his writing. He doesn't seem to give her enough credit even as he loves her. I knew a little more about Harry Houdini and found him fascinating in this book. The interactions between him and his wife, Bess were very intriguing. I don't want to give anything away but their marriage is very different and I really liked how the author unfolded the secrets throughout the book.
Overall, this book was a treat with the vivid characters. I loved "meeting" Charmian through this book for the first time. This book definitely made me want to look up more about this fascinating woman and her "Mate."
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