That Churchill Woman (Hardcover)

A Novel

By Stephanie Barron

Ballantine Books, 9781524799564, 400pp.

Publication Date: January 22, 2019

List Price: 28.00*
* Individual store prices may vary.

Description

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 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 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.

Advance 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 bestselling author of The Aviator’s Wife and The Swans of Fifth Avenue


About the Author

Stephanie Barron studied history at Princeton and Stanford, where she was an Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Fellow in the Humanities. She is the author of the historical suspense novels A Flaw in the Blood and The White Garden, as well as the critically acclaimed and nationally bestselling Jane Austen Mystery series. A former intelligence analyst for the CIA, Barron—who also writes under the name Francine Mathews—drew on her experience in espionage for such novels as Jack 1939, which The New Yorker described as “one of the most deliciously high-concept thrillers imaginable.” She lives and works in Denver, Colorado.


Praise For That Churchill Woman: A Novel

“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
 
“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 bestselling 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. Barron’s immersive and richly detailed story gives a fascinating glimpse into the lives of society women, as well as the early life of Winston 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
 
“Barron paints a picture of a beautiful woman with enough determination and animal magnetism to get what she wants. . . . The characters are captivating.”Kirkus Reviews