That Churchill Woman
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 impossible 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 gilded world over which she reigned, That Churchill Woman paints a portrait of the difficult--and sometimes impossible--balance between love, freedom, and obligation, while capturing the spirit of an unforgettable woman, one who altered the course of history.

That Churchill Woman Details

TitleThat Churchill Woman
Author
ReleaseJan 29th, 2019
PublisherBallantine Books
ISBN-139781524799564
Rating
GenreHistorical, Historical Fiction, Fiction

That Churchill Woman Review

  • Marialyce
    January 1, 1970
    Did you ever hear the saying that behind every great man stands a great woman? Have you ever wondered about a great man and the mother who raised him? In the book, That Churchill Woman we meet the woman who was the mother of Winston Churchill, who of course would go onto great prominence as leader of England during World War 2. Jennie Jerome was her name. She was a woman raised in luxury, having been born to an American family with influence and money. She arrives in England and to all accounts Did you ever hear the saying that behind every great man stands a great woman? Have you ever wondered about a great man and the mother who raised him? In the book, That Churchill Woman we meet the woman who was the mother of Winston Churchill, who of course would go onto great prominence as leader of England during World War 2. Jennie Jerome was her name. She was a woman raised in luxury, having been born to an American family with influence and money. She arrives in England and to all accounts becomes a woman who is followed, written about, and admired though often spoken of disparagingly. She came to Victorian England so staid in their morals and convention and married Lord Randolph Churchill. The marriage, as presented in this book, was not a happy one for Randolph was seldom home and was a closeted homosexual. However, Jennie makes her own way. Rumored to have had many encounters with other men, she is drawn to Count Charles Kinsky and falls deeply in love with him. However, Jennie well knows the "rules" of the times and even though she could divorce Randolph, she instead charts Randolph's rise in the environs of British politics and Parliament. She walks a narrow path of what her desires are and what the times dictate. She was her own person, strong willed and willing to do what needed to be accomplished, even at the risk of losing the man she loved and the children she gave birth to. Jennie had an indomitable spirit and through her legacy, she was able to provide England, her adopted land with a man who would eventually lead them through the most trying time one could imagine. Thank you to Stephanie Barron, Ballantine Books, and Net Galley for an advanced copy of this book due to be published on January 29, 2019.My reviews can also be seen here: http://yayareadslotsofbooks.wordpress...
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  • Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede
    January 1, 1970
    Jennie Jerome was a rich, privileged, and unconventional New Yorker who married Lord Randolph Churchill and becomes the mother of Winston Churchill, one of the most prominent men of the twentieth century. Jennie hardly knew Randolph before agreeing to marry him, however, she was hellbent on marrying him despite her mother's misgivings. The marriage had its ups and downs, and Jennie had countless lovers. But, one particular will dominate her life in this book: Count Charles Kinsky. Their love aff Jennie Jerome was a rich, privileged, and unconventional New Yorker who married Lord Randolph Churchill and becomes the mother of Winston Churchill, one of the most prominent men of the twentieth century. Jennie hardly knew Randolph before agreeing to marry him, however, she was hellbent on marrying him despite her mother's misgivings. The marriage had its ups and downs, and Jennie had countless lovers. But, one particular will dominate her life in this book: Count Charles Kinsky. Their love affair is pretty much doomed from the start, yet they can't stay away from each other, even when Bertie, Prince of Wales, warns Jennie about the risks himself...READ THE REST OF THE REVIEW OVER AT FRESH FICTION!
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  • Annette
    January 1, 1970
    The story starts in 1883, England. Jennie Churchill is a guest at Sandringham estate, which belongs to Bertie, the Prince of Wales. There, she meets Count Charles Kinsky, a knight of the Holy Roman Empire. He becomes one of her many lovers.The story alternates in time, including the time when she meets her husband and her childhood in NYC and Newport.In 1873 on the Isle of Wight, a 19 year old Jennie Jerome meets Lord Randolph Spencer-Churchill, 24 years old, at the Regatta Week races. At their The story starts in 1883, England. Jennie Churchill is a guest at Sandringham estate, which belongs to Bertie, the Prince of Wales. There, she meets Count Charles Kinsky, a knight of the Holy Roman Empire. He becomes one of her many lovers.The story alternates in time, including the time when she meets her husband and her childhood in NYC and Newport.In 1873 on the Isle of Wight, a 19 year old Jennie Jerome meets Lord Randolph Spencer-Churchill, 24 years old, at the Regatta Week races. At their first conversation he already reveals the passion for history and says to stand for Parliament. She questions herself, if she comes across as too shallow. But what he sees is: “She radiates life; he finds her vitality mesmerizing.” “The Duchess (Randolph’s mother) (…) mourned Randolph’s marriage to an American of no family. (…) whom she judged to be too showy, too opinionated, and far too much in the public eye.”At present time, when Randolph visits his mother, Jennie gallops every day with Charles Kinsky.When her older son catches pneumonia at boarding school, her visits are quick as she still has parties to attend. “Sick child or not, the dinner must go forward.”Some parts are interesting, especially those including the structure of society and politics. But when it comes to the story of Jennie as a woman, mother, a human being, I didn’t find her story compelling. I didn't feel any connection with her character. Overall, the story is not consistently engrossing. @FB/BestHistoricalFiction
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  • Erin
    January 1, 1970
    Find this and other reviews at: http://historicalfictionreader.blogsp...The “Dollar Princesses” are experiencing a surge of popularity and I can’t say I’m upset to see it. In a blatant exchange of cash for class, these women crossed the Atlantic to marry into the old-world aristocracy. Their wealth revitalized the fortunes of Europe’s elite, but their marriages were often complex, challenging, and dramatic affairs.Taking her inspiration from the life of one of the most scandalous of these women, Find this and other reviews at: http://historicalfictionreader.blogsp...The “Dollar Princesses” are experiencing a surge of popularity and I can’t say I’m upset to see it. In a blatant exchange of cash for class, these women crossed the Atlantic to marry into the old-world aristocracy. Their wealth revitalized the fortunes of Europe’s elite, but their marriages were often complex, challenging, and dramatic affairs.Taking her inspiration from the life of one of the most scandalous of these women, author Stephanie Barron reimagines the charisma, vitality, and fortitude of the American-born mother of Sir Winston Churchill. Jennie Jerome was a force in her own right and Barron’s work explores both the roots of her strength and the trials it saw her through.I enjoyed That Churchill Woman. The cast felt decadent and fresh and I loved the social politics of the story. Barron put a great deal of research into the narrative and I felt her supporting cast, notably Consuelo Yznaga and Mary ‘Minnie’ Paget, as dynamic as Jennie herself. Jennie’s relationship with Kinskey didn’t read as strongly as I’d hoped, but you can’t win them all right?Barron has some really interesting content in this piece, but I felt the lack of focus created thematic conflict. Jennie is the heart of the story, but Winston inexplicably becomes a second narrator in the latter chapters and the book subsequently shifts from Jennie’s character to interfamily relationships. I liked the idea, but I couldn’t help feeling it weakened the ending by allowing the novel’s heroine to be eclipsed by her firstborn.
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  • Christina
    January 1, 1970
    This latest by Stephanie Barron features complex characters that although based on the real life of Jennie Spencer-Churchill, American heiress and mother of Winston Churchill, THAT CHURCHILL WOMAN is scintillating historical fiction. Wow—to have lived such a life! As with her same deft pen used in the Jane Austen Mystery series, Barron’s incomparable research is ever apparent and adds to the richness of her story. After losing her sister Camille at a young age, having cheated death herself, Jenn This latest by Stephanie Barron features complex characters that although based on the real life of Jennie Spencer-Churchill, American heiress and mother of Winston Churchill, THAT CHURCHILL WOMAN is scintillating historical fiction. Wow—to have lived such a life! As with her same deft pen used in the Jane Austen Mystery series, Barron’s incomparable research is ever apparent and adds to the richness of her story. After losing her sister Camille at a young age, having cheated death herself, Jennie Jerome grew into a forward thinking woman who lived a large life, “lived her best life” as we would say now, regretting little. Her father, Leonard Jerome, told her then, “The only way to fight death, Jennie, is to live. You’ve got to do it for two people now—yourself and Camille. Take every chance you get. Do everything she didn’t get to do. Live two lives in the space of one. I’ll back you to the hilt.” As an American heiress, she dazzled the British aristocracy and other European elite—“I cannot be one of them, after all. Much better to be the best possible version of myself”—and for a time they loved her verve. Living by certain axioms of London Society such as “Sleep where you like, but be in your own bed by morning” served her well...until it didn’t. She was a keeper of secrets and knew how to manage the men in her life, especially her husband Lord Randolph Spencer-Churchill. Her longtime love affair with Austria’s Prince Karl (Charles) Kinsky reads like tantalizing fiction...that left me rather melancholy for the both of them. Even the most astute historical fiction readers will be caught off guard by the provocative and engaging prose and insights of this surprisingly powerful and intriguing woman during a colorful era. THAT CHURCHILL WOMAN is not to be missed!
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  • Tammy
    January 1, 1970
    That Churchill Woman is the story of Jennie Jerome Churchill, the mother of Winston Churchill. Jennie was an American woman who married into English nobility and was quite ahead of her time. I thoroughly enjoyed Jennie's story! Stephanie Barron did a wonderful job bringing Jennie and that era in time to life for me!
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  • Kimberly Mussell
    January 1, 1970
    It took me awhile to get through this one, but I am glad I stuck with the story. I know about Sir Winston Churchill, but was clueless when it came to his heritage. Although this is a work of fiction, there is a lot of truths being portrayed. I love to research characters I am reading about and am fascinated with the history I learned. I love having Alva Vanderbilt in the book as I just recently read “A Well-Behaved Woman”, Thank you to NetGalley for the opportunity to read for an honest review.
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  • Kaycee
    January 1, 1970
    Behind every great man is a great woman, is a phrase we often hear. This novel gives us a glimpse into the life of one of those great women, Jennie Jerome/Lady Randolph Churchill, Winston Churchills mother. The novel paints a portrait of the bulk of Jennie's life. There are flashbacks to her childhood and her adolescence in New York and Paris. The setting and scene mostly take place though, in London throughout her husband, Randolph Churchill's career and eventual health deterioration. The novel Behind every great man is a great woman, is a phrase we often hear. This novel gives us a glimpse into the life of one of those great women, Jennie Jerome/Lady Randolph Churchill, Winston Churchills mother. The novel paints a portrait of the bulk of Jennie's life. There are flashbacks to her childhood and her adolescence in New York and Paris. The setting and scene mostly take place though, in London throughout her husband, Randolph Churchill's career and eventual health deterioration. The novel particularly focuses on her affair with Count Charles Kinsky, who was a diplomat in London.Jennie Churchill was a woman who was either loved or hated by those who knew her. Jennie was a outsider in London during a time when new money and Americans were thought less of. On top of this, Jennie was a woman who was determined to live life by her own rules. The novel was highly researched, not just with Jennie Jerome's life, but what society and political culture was during the time period. Stephanie Barron focused on the political injustices that women faced during this time (Lady Randolph Churchill was definitely politically conscious), as well as providing an inside eye to the law makers who were deciding their fates. That Churchill Woman, had a lot of cliche moments, lines and scenarios that I felt were cheesy, and at times I literally rolled my eyes. In all honesty, there were times where I debated putting the novel to the side and not finishing. However, I am happy I did finish. While there were elements in the novel that I found lacking, it is well researched and the later half was entertaining. My curiosity kept me going, I wanted to learn more about Jennie, and I found Charles Kinsky quite an interesting character as well. Overall, this book wasn't my personal cup of tea. I highly enjoyed learning more about the political climate in England during this time period, learning more of Winston Churchill's youth and his father, as well as learning more about Jennie Jerome. I found her fascinating and would love to read a biography of her in the future.https://floralsandnovels.wordpress.co...
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  • Magic History
    January 1, 1970
    That Churchill Woman by Stephanie Barron is a bit of a slog — unless you enjoy reading multitudinous descriptions of nineteenth century clothing and all about the upper crust of Britain.It’s the story of Churchill’s mother, American Jennie Jerome, who moves to England and marries the son of a duke three days after meeting them. It’s not exactly a successful marriage, but they do manage to beget Winston eight months after the wedding. That just about sums up the book. Except Jennie has an affair That Churchill Woman by Stephanie Barron is a bit of a slog — unless you enjoy reading multitudinous descriptions of nineteenth century clothing and all about the upper crust of Britain.It’s the story of Churchill’s mother, American Jennie Jerome, who moves to England and marries the son of a duke three days after meeting them. It’s not exactly a successful marriage, but they do manage to beget Winston eight months after the wedding. That just about sums up the book. Except Jennie has an affair with a Count, which also has a disappointing end. Perhaps it’s just the subject — Mrs. Churchill is known to have cheated on her husband numerous times and a man other than her husband apparently fathered her second son– but I can’t help but think the author could improve her writing style. The book has plenty of telling and not so much showing. There’s also not much detailed description, except for the aforementioned clothing. It took effort to finish the book.Mrs. Churchill isn’t seen as the most loving of mothers: she sends Winston off to boarding school at the age of six and parties while he’s on the verge of death from pneumonia. Yet we are asked to see her as a sympathetic character. It’s a stretch, for me at least. Yes, she is cowed by her husband from visiting Winston. But Jennie is painted as independent and strong in the rest of the book. Jennie was part of a wave of American young women who fled to Britain in an effort to snare a titled man. She succeeds, but she isn’t really happy. She’s portrayed as romantic, artistic and adventurous, with a troubled young son (Winston) who is tortured at his boarding schools but nevertheless stays there.She stays marries to her husband because they are intellectually compatible, but he later learns he has syphilis, which she fortunately has not contracted. Theirs is a marriage of convenience, with both having affairs as they see fit. Winston adores both his father and his mother, but sees little of them. But Jennie is distracted by her affair with Count Kinski, a Prussian count with parents who are not impressed with Jennie. Her American heritage does not impress much of the British nobility, including her mother-in-law. But Kinski becomes a type of father figure to Winston, who rarely sees his real father.By this time, Randolph Churchill is descending into madness, and his wife decides to take him on a farewell tour of the world, to see the country he helped annex during his term in Parliament,Burma. But by the time they get to Burma, Randolph is insensate. Randolph, who was very famous as a politician, dies without leaving his son much of a legacy, and his wife no kind of emotional legacy at all.All in all, it’s a sad story, and not a well told one. Jennie’s love stories fade into nothingness, and, other than looking good, we are left to wonder what Jennie Churchill accomplished in life other than bearing a man who would change history.Grade: C
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  • Cynthia
    January 1, 1970
    I was excited to see this book, and I really wanted to like it. The book is well researched, but it has no soul. Despite a deftly crafted beginning, the author just didn't grab my attention and hold it. The narrative flipped around abruptly. Just when you thought you'd finally find some authenticity in the characters, the scene ended and you'd find yourself elsewhere. The scenes involving young Winston Churchill were well written, but the main character of his mother never evolved to the point w I was excited to see this book, and I really wanted to like it. The book is well researched, but it has no soul. Despite a deftly crafted beginning, the author just didn't grab my attention and hold it. The narrative flipped around abruptly. Just when you thought you'd finally find some authenticity in the characters, the scene ended and you'd find yourself elsewhere. The scenes involving young Winston Churchill were well written, but the main character of his mother never evolved to the point where I really cared about her.
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  • Scott Bartis
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you Netgalley for sharing “That Churchill Woman” with me in exchange for an honest review.I was drawn to “That Churchill Woman” because of my deep fascination with all things Winston. From these readings I had a general idea about the more scandalous aspects of her life, yet little about her as a distinct person. Granted, works of historical fiction are probably not the best way to address this issue, but it certainly makes the process more entertaining. All of this being said, I came away Thank you Netgalley for sharing “That Churchill Woman” with me in exchange for an honest review.I was drawn to “That Churchill Woman” because of my deep fascination with all things Winston. From these readings I had a general idea about the more scandalous aspects of her life, yet little about her as a distinct person. Granted, works of historical fiction are probably not the best way to address this issue, but it certainly makes the process more entertaining. All of this being said, I came away with a deeper appreciation for both Lady Churchill and her lasting impact on her son. Throughout the first half of the book I found myself playing a sort of “Where’s Winston” game; partially paying attention to the details of the narrative, but more interested in finding events and details in the lives of his mother (and father) that could be interpreted as the roots of personality characteristics that later shaped the course of history. As the second half of the book unfolded I realized that the author had won me over: I was more focused on the woman, the mother, and less obsessively reflective on the son. And this brings me to my one critique of the book: I think the title doesn’t do justice to the value in learning about the life and loves of this fascinating woman ---- regardless of her last name and regardless of the historical immensity of her son. Jenny Jerome seems to me the epitome of Victorian contradictions: silly and superficial, yet complex; serially unfaithful, yet perfectly loyal and devoted; a mother who was absent and distant, yet inseparably attached to her children.Finally, I enjoyed the author’s elaboration of aspects of Victorian society. It is fashionable today to speak of the decline of morals, but I was struck by the shear banality with which people confronted syphilis and its horrifying consequences. ON a more positive note was the fact that, even without the vote, the wives of members of Parliament were seen to be a powerful political force that had a clear and direct impact on their husbands, their government, and their country. That Churchill Woman provides a valuable perspective on both the roots of a most remarkable man as well as the life, loves, trials and tribulations of his fascinating mother.
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  • Laurel
    January 1, 1970
    Beautiful, stylish and an accomplished musician, when American heiress Jennie Jerome married Lord Randolph Churchill she aligned her family with one of England’s most noble families. Producing an heir and a spare, her homelife was run by servants while she partied with aristocrats and royalty. Lady Randolph appeared to have it all, yet like other bright shining stars in society, such as Emma Hamilton, Marie Antoinette, or Jennie’s childhood friend Alva Vanderbilt, we soon discover “varnish and g Beautiful, stylish and an accomplished musician, when American heiress Jennie Jerome married Lord Randolph Churchill she aligned her family with one of England’s most noble families. Producing an heir and a spare, her homelife was run by servants while she partied with aristocrats and royalty. Lady Randolph appeared to have it all, yet like other bright shining stars in society, such as Emma Hamilton, Marie Antoinette, or Jennie’s childhood friend Alva Vanderbilt, we soon discover “varnish and gilding hide many stains.”Her husband Randolph, whom she accepted after a three-day courtship, and against her mother’s advice, has brought heavy baggage with him into the marriage. While she dutifully assists him in his career by re-writing his speeches for parliament, accompanying him to important social and political events, and entertaining royalty in their London home, his heedless actions and rash decisions cannot be offset by her social graces when he blunders and resigns his hard-earned government post in protest. As his career and health decline, Jennie is shocked to learn that he is a closeted homosexual and is seriously ill with syphilis, which will eventually rob him of his political aspirations and his life.His follies and vices have set a bad tone for their relationship slashing a whole in Jennie’s happiness. To survive her loveless marriage, she escapes to country manor houses for long weekends with the Prince of Wales’ set were gossip, hunting, feasting, and bedroom hopping is de rigueur. In her heart, and in her bed, is the dashing Austrian Count Charles Kinsky, diplomat, prominent horseman and the future Prince of Wchinitz and Tettauis. He is the one man in her life that she truly loves. Sadly, their romance is doomed. A divorce from her husband would result in a scandal that no one of her class could rebounded from, and he must marry royalty.Renowned by Jane Austen fans for her Being a Jane Austen Mystery Series, Stephanie Barron is also a best-selling author of thrillers as Francine Mathews (Jack 39, Too Bad to Die). That Churchill Woman, while resplendent with period detail and vivid characters, is as intricately plotted as one her mysteries or thrillers, cleverly moving between Jennie’s childhood and her present-day life, mirroring conflicts or recalling memories that help her through a crisis. What really resonated for me was Jennie herself. She was no saint, yet Barron shapes her choices with plausible instinct and solid reasoning.Reading about Jennie’s wild gallop on horseback through the English countryside with Count Kinsky, I recalled the advice of her father on cheating death by living two lives in the space of one. She did. What I thought would be a novel about a scandalous Victorian socialite honors a strong, fierce woman who embraced life and love, celebrating the indomitable human spirit.A remarkable achievement. Victorian Jennie Churchill is an inspiration for women today. Impassioned, brilliant and smashing. You will love her!Laurel Ann, Austenprose
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  • Kathleen Gray
    January 1, 1970
    If you aren't familiar with the life of Jennie Jerome Churchill, this is a very good place to start. Well researched and written, it's the story of probably the most famous of the Dollar Princesses- American women who married into the British aristocracy bringing along the funds to save many a historic estate. Jennie was, significantly, the mother of Winston Churchill but she was so much more. Her life with Randolph was, to put it mildly, unconventional. Her long time lover Count Charles Kimsky If you aren't familiar with the life of Jennie Jerome Churchill, this is a very good place to start. Well researched and written, it's the story of probably the most famous of the Dollar Princesses- American women who married into the British aristocracy bringing along the funds to save many a historic estate. Jennie was, significantly, the mother of Winston Churchill but she was so much more. Her life with Randolph was, to put it mildly, unconventional. Her long time lover Count Charles Kimsky was not someone I knew much about so this was especially interesting. There are lots of details (some might argue too many) but for fans of Downton Abbey and fiction featuring famous women, there's just the right amount. Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC. A good read.
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  • Darla
    January 1, 1970
    A novel that pairs a favorite author with a fascinating subject? Yes, please! Having Millard's "Hero of the Empire" in mind made this book all the more compelling. Barron did extensive research and it shows in her treatment of the subject. Having glimpses of Jennie's childhood illuminated the choices she made in her adult life. It is so good to have another Stephanie Barron book to read! Would make a fine book group selection with much to discuss regarding women's rights, family dynamics, late 1 A novel that pairs a favorite author with a fascinating subject? Yes, please! Having Millard's "Hero of the Empire" in mind made this book all the more compelling. Barron did extensive research and it shows in her treatment of the subject. Having glimpses of Jennie's childhood illuminated the choices she made in her adult life. It is so good to have another Stephanie Barron book to read! Would make a fine book group selection with much to discuss regarding women's rights, family dynamics, late 19th century politics and more.A big thank you to Ballantine books and Edelweiss for providing a digital ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Nancy
    January 1, 1970
    I was totally mesmerized by Stephanie Barron's portrait of Jennie Churchill. It is easy for 21st Century women to get so engrossed in our own social politics that we forget the demands and challenges that women like Jennie Jerome Churchill faced. This book pulled me in to the social politics of her day, the challenges of her life, and the strength it took to face it headlong.Years ago I read a popular biography of Jennie. Perhaps I forgot more than I recall, but I concluded Barron's book with a I was totally mesmerized by Stephanie Barron's portrait of Jennie Churchill. It is easy for 21st Century women to get so engrossed in our own social politics that we forget the demands and challenges that women like Jennie Jerome Churchill faced. This book pulled me in to the social politics of her day, the challenges of her life, and the strength it took to face it headlong.Years ago I read a popular biography of Jennie. Perhaps I forgot more than I recall, but I concluded Barron's book with a sympathy and admiration for the the subject that I didn't have after reading the earlier non-fiction account of her life. The fact that this book focused on the period of her marriage to Lord Randolph Churchill and her affair with Charles Kinsky provided a clear contrast between the characters of the two men and the impact of their relationships with Jennie. Accepting the fact that this book is fiction, and offers the author the license to imagine thoughts, feelings and circumstances---it feels pitch perfect to the period it covers, and illuminates the societal constraints a woman like Jennie Jerome Churchill faced on a daily basis. THAT CHURCHILL WOMAN is a "ripping good read" but also a reminder that although our generation of women still face very high hurdles and outright obstacles, we are also every bit as strong and determined as she was. I thoroughly enjoyed this book.NETGALLEY provided me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for a candid review.
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  • Suzanne
    January 1, 1970
    I received an Advanced Readers Copy of That Churchill Woman by Stephanie Barron from Goodreads Giveaways.I enjoy reading historical fiction. That Churchill Woman did not disappoint. Great research. Fascinating history lesson. This books tells the story of Jennie Jerome. She is an American woman who married Randolph Churchill. Not knowing at the time that he preferred men. They are the parents of Winston Churchill. That Churchill Woman gives us insight to many famous and infamous people from the I received an Advanced Readers Copy of That Churchill Woman by Stephanie Barron from Goodreads Giveaways.I enjoy reading historical fiction. That Churchill Woman did not disappoint. Great research. Fascinating history lesson. This books tells the story of Jennie Jerome. She is an American woman who married Randolph Churchill. Not knowing at the time that he preferred men. They are the parents of Winston Churchill. That Churchill Woman gives us insight to many famous and infamous people from the 1900's. Jennie became a sensation with her scandalous affairs. The love of her life was Charles Kinsky. She refused to divorce her husband to be with Charles Kinsky. She stayed with Randolph to the bitter end when he died from syphilis.
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  • Janilyn Kocher
    January 1, 1970
    Barron depicts the life of Jennie Churchill in this latest historical fiction novel. Jennie led a racy and unconventional lifestyle for a member of nineteenth century peerage in England. Although her son, Winston, overshadows her, Jennie had a much talked about life, long before her son's popularity. I think Barron does an excellent job at displaying the multifaceted woman who lived according to her own terms. The author provides a good historiography at the end for readers who wish to enhance t Barron depicts the life of Jennie Churchill in this latest historical fiction novel. Jennie led a racy and unconventional lifestyle for a member of nineteenth century peerage in England. Although her son, Winston, overshadows her, Jennie had a much talked about life, long before her son's popularity. I think Barron does an excellent job at displaying the multifaceted woman who lived according to her own terms. The author provides a good historiography at the end for readers who wish to enhance their knowledge of this intriguing woman. Thanks to NetGalley for the advance copy.
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  • Nancy Mijangos
    January 1, 1970
    I received an ARC of this novel from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Very interesting novel about Jennie Churchill. It was both an inspiring novel about a strong, independent woman and a heartbreaking tale of self-indulgence at the expense of her sons.
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  • Julie
    January 1, 1970
    For me, this was Historical Fiction at its finest! In “That Churchill Woman” the author, Stephanie Barron, takes a specific time in history and then colors the details in with fiction to create a fascinating story. It is a story that is rich in history and engaging in its fiction. I always know that I have read a great historical fiction novel when I am searching at the end of the book for the author’s references and where I can read more of the story! This was exactly one of those books! “That For me, this was Historical Fiction at its finest! In “That Churchill Woman” the author, Stephanie Barron, takes a specific time in history and then colors the details in with fiction to create a fascinating story. It is a story that is rich in history and engaging in its fiction. I always know that I have read a great historical fiction novel when I am searching at the end of the book for the author’s references and where I can read more of the story! This was exactly one of those books! “That Churchill Woman” is the story of Jennie Jerome and her marriage and life to Lord Randolph Churchill, Winston Churchill’s father. It is a fascinating glimpse at the price many of the “American Princesses” of the Gilded Age paid to enter the world of European Royalty. It is clear upon reading the book that the cost was well beyond the dowery their families initially paid! It is also clear that Jennie Churchill was a strong and determined woman who was quite willing to pay that price despite the cost not only to herself but to her family as well. I highly recommend, “That Churchill Woman” both for the great story it told and the fascinating time in history it portrayed. I was honored to receive a free advanced copy of the book from NetGalley and the Publisher, Random House Publishing Group - Ballantine in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Rosemary Wynn
    January 1, 1970
    If you enjoyed Circling the Sun or The Paris Wife you should enjoy this book as well. Lady Randolph Churchill’s life was nothing if not interesting. She knew which societal rules to follow and which to ignore. This story definitely made me want to know more about her complicated life.
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  • Diane Moyle
    January 1, 1970
    This is another gripping novel about a little-known woman who influenced history, Lady Randolph Churchill or Jennie Jerome. By the title, I assumed this was about Winston Churchill’s wife, what a pleasant surprise to find out it is about his mother. Jennie was an unconventional woman, in an unconventional marriage that managed to cultivate a son who played a major role in World War II. Ms. Barron uses a very interesting writing style to tell this story. It starts out in the third person, with Je This is another gripping novel about a little-known woman who influenced history, Lady Randolph Churchill or Jennie Jerome. By the title, I assumed this was about Winston Churchill’s wife, what a pleasant surprise to find out it is about his mother. Jennie was an unconventional woman, in an unconventional marriage that managed to cultivate a son who played a major role in World War II. Ms. Barron uses a very interesting writing style to tell this story. It starts out in the third person, with Jennie being discussed but quickly switches to first person, in Jennie’s own voice. This works well for this novel, it allows you to live and feel through her own eyes, with all her triumphs and incredible heartbreaks brought to life. This is great historical fiction about an incredible woman who lived life on her own terms. Her contemporaries either loved or hated her as she followed her own rules. Although it involves delicate adult subjects, they are handled gracefully, allowing the book to be enjoyed by teens to adults. I recommend this to anyone that is interested in the more obscure side of history.
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  • Emi Bevacqua
    January 1, 1970
    I've known a couple die-hard Winston Churchill fans, but military history never interested me at all. However, Stephanie Barron's brilliantly written and conscientiously researched representation of Win's parents, of course his mother in particular, had me fascinated throughout. The Churchills didn't have a romantic marriage, but they honored one another in their own genteel yet polyamorous ways; she kept his secrets for twenty years! This isn't just the story of Lady Randolph Churchill nee Jenn I've known a couple die-hard Winston Churchill fans, but military history never interested me at all. However, Stephanie Barron's brilliantly written and conscientiously researched representation of Win's parents, of course his mother in particular, had me fascinated throughout. The Churchills didn't have a romantic marriage, but they honored one another in their own genteel yet polyamorous ways; she kept his secrets for twenty years! This isn't just the story of Lady Randolph Churchill nee Jennie Jerome, it's about love and loss, high-stakes political intrigue, the heights and perils of gossip, public health initiatives, and a comparative study of social mores on parenting through generations in the US and UK. I would read anything by this author, and am grateful to her for introducing me to a new subject I can look to read more on (copious citations in her Aferward).
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  • Meghan
    January 1, 1970
    We are always on the lookout for Historical Fiction novels and this will definitely be the cream of the crop of our collection. Winston Churchill is known as one of the most powerful historical fiction throughout all American history and I was unfamiliar with the story of his mother...until now. It is mindblowing the history from just Jennie Jerome and how she married a duke at nineteen and all the mess she has gotten herself into being thrown into royalty and power. Fascinating read that will d We are always on the lookout for Historical Fiction novels and this will definitely be the cream of the crop of our collection. Winston Churchill is known as one of the most powerful historical fiction throughout all American history and I was unfamiliar with the story of his mother...until now. It is mindblowing the history from just Jennie Jerome and how she married a duke at nineteen and all the mess she has gotten herself into being thrown into royalty and power. Fascinating read that will directly pull you in immediately.Thank you Netgalley and Ballantine Books for the ARC in exchange for an honest review. We will definitely consider this title for our historical fiction collection. That is why we give this book 5 stars.
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  • Janette Mcmahon
    January 1, 1970
    A wonderful fictional look at Jennie Churchill's life and what a life she led! The writing is solid as is her look at the time period and the people involved. Her followup at the end of the book brought it full circle. Highly recommend to readers of historical biographical fiction.
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  • Heather Bennett
    January 1, 1970
    Stephanie Barron has written a novel about a woman who was more than just a mother to the famous Winston Churchill. Stephanie did a lot of research on the family and tries to pull you into the history of the the life of Lady Churchill. This is a story of tragedy, obligation, passion, luxury, and a difficult time for women.
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  • Jo Dervan
    January 1, 1970
    This historical fiction is based on the life of Jenny Churchill, Winston Churchill’s Mother . There is a bit about her birth in 1854 and early years living in NYC as the daughter of the wealthy financier and sportsman, Leonard Jerome. However most of the story is centered upon her life as the wife of Lord Randolph Churchill, the second son of the Duke of Marlborough. Jenny’s mother took her and her 2 sisters to Paris when she became disgusted with her husband’s dalliances with opera singers. Dur This historical fiction is based on the life of Jenny Churchill, Winston Churchill’s Mother . There is a bit about her birth in 1854 and early years living in NYC as the daughter of the wealthy financier and sportsman, Leonard Jerome. However most of the story is centered upon her life as the wife of Lord Randolph Churchill, the second son of the Duke of Marlborough. Jenny’s mother took her and her 2 sisters to Paris when she became disgusted with her husband’s dalliances with opera singers. During that period it was customary for wealthy American women to marry titled European men with little money of their own. The American women brought their fortunes and dowries to the marriages and often provided funds to restore and support the ancestral homes of their husbands. In exchange, the women received a title - something that would ensure their position in society on both sides of the Atlantic. Twenty year old Jenny met Randolph at a regatta in 1873 where they were introduced by the Prince of Wales, in line to become king of England when his mother, Victoria, died. Three days later Randolph proposed but it took several months for her father to approve and allow the marriage. There is speculation that the pregnancy of Jenny (resulting in her son Winston,) convinced her father and this book agrees. The marriage was not to be a happy one. Randolph had entered politics and was elected as a member of Parliament in 1874. He was a member of the Conservative party who was eventually regarded as a Tory. Jenny used her influence and social connections to further Randolph’s career. It was even suggested that she wrote some of his most memorable speeches. However the couple were no longer intimate after the birth of the the second son Jack. So the beautiful Jenny engaged in several affairs with other men. The conducting of extramarital affairs was very common among the Randolph’s social class at that time. Jenny’s true love was said to be Count (later Prince) Charles Kinsky, a dashing Austrian nobleman who was an attaché in London and later in Paris. She later refused to abandon her husband to marry the Count. In her husband’s last years he began to suffer a recurrence the effects of syphilis. It seems that he had contacted the deadly disease as a university student. Randolph also preferred men to his wife or any other women. Neither Jenny nor her 2 sons contracted the disease. However Jenny remained at Randolph’s side until he died in 1895. The story ends after Randolph’s death with a brief Afterword.This is a fascinating story in which the author gives us an insight into the lives of wealthy young women like Jenny who married more for wealth and status than true love. I enjoyed the book.
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  • Christi
    January 1, 1970
    I'll admit that I do not know a lot about Winston Churchill except knowing that he was Britain's prime minister for awhile and was a brilliant man in his own right, so when I picked up That Churchill Woman I figured I would learn more about where Winston came from, and I learned that and so much more.Jennie Jerome, or Lady Randolph Churchill, lived a life not of her own choosing. Losing her sister at a very young age, who also happened to be her best friend, then marrying a man with deep, dark s I'll admit that I do not know a lot about Winston Churchill except knowing that he was Britain's prime minister for awhile and was a brilliant man in his own right, so when I picked up That Churchill Woman I figured I would learn more about where Winston came from, and I learned that and so much more.Jennie Jerome, or Lady Randolph Churchill, lived a life not of her own choosing. Losing her sister at a very young age, who also happened to be her best friend, then marrying a man with deep, dark secrets; having to put her wants and needs aside to help her husband live out his dream, while trying to be the best mother that she can under the circumstances. Extramarital affairs were commonplace among the wealthy, which allowed Jennie to have her personal needs met, but this took her away from her two young sons, and gave her an unsavory reputation.Jennie's story is disturbing and heartbreaking. Stephanie Barron did an incredible job of describing every detail, pulling you into that world. There were scenes that were incredibly hard to read due to the graphic nature and unbelievable detail, yet fascinating that these horrific instances could've possibly happened.Stephanie Barron's years of research shines on every page and gave me a craving to know more about the Churchill family. Deeply thought provoking, this is a book that is hard to put down. The ending was especially gratifying and filled with sweet freedom on numerous levels, which leaves the reader with a sigh of relief.Though incredibly graphic at times, That Churchill Woman is a story about a woman who shined despite being in almost constant conflict and scandal, and worth knowing more about. She was more than Lady Randolph Churchill. She was Jennie, a woman who did what she could and never gave up.*I received a complimentary copy of this book from Ballantine Books through NetGalley in exchange for an honest, unbiased review. All opinions are my own.
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  • Cindy
    January 1, 1970
    That Churchill Woman by Stephanie BarronJennie Jerome, more formally known as Lady Randolph Churchill, lived big and yet tread the rough path between regimented British Victorian society and her own choices. Stephanie Barron’s novel focuses on Lady Randolph’s life during her first marriage, during which we are permitted glimpses of Winston Churchill’s childhood. Barron tries to fill in the gap between what we “know” about Jennie’s actions and what motivated her to act. Flashbacks help explain th That Churchill Woman by Stephanie BarronJennie Jerome, more formally known as Lady Randolph Churchill, lived big and yet tread the rough path between regimented British Victorian society and her own choices. Stephanie Barron’s novel focuses on Lady Randolph’s life during her first marriage, during which we are permitted glimpses of Winston Churchill’s childhood. Barron tries to fill in the gap between what we “know” about Jennie’s actions and what motivated her to act. Flashbacks help explain the influence of Jennie’s childhood and upbringing on her adult life. The author clearly conducted considerable research, including several works written by members of the family. Unfortunately, there are many questions about which no one can generate factual answers. Nonetheless, Barron does a persuasive job of weaving the threads together to create a credible tapestry. Lady Randolph Churchill may not be a person all readers admire but she is to be respected for her independence and her willingness to take responsibility for the consequences of her actions.I found Barron’s portrayal compelling, and a quick read. I only wish she had gone further. I would have liked to have learned more about Jennie’s war efforts and in what ways she mentored Winston in his early political efforts. Of course, that is why good novels lead you to good biographies. If you loved Downton Abbey, the late Victorian era, British nobility, or independent women, you will love this novel. I highly recommend picking it up.Thanks to Netgalley and Random House Publishing-Ballantine for the opportunity to read an e-ARC in exchange for a candid review.
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  • Connie Fischer
    January 1, 1970
    Jeanette (Jennie) Jerome is the daughter of a very wealthy American family. As was the case with many wealthy American young women of the time period, she moved to Europe hoping to marry a man with a title. Thus, she married Lord Randolph Spencer-Churchill, a younger son of the seventh Duke of Marlborough whose family home is Blenheim Palace in the Cotswolds.When Jennie and Randolph first met, she was impressed with his drive to stand for Parliament and he admired her athleticism. They had two s Jeanette (Jennie) Jerome is the daughter of a very wealthy American family. As was the case with many wealthy American young women of the time period, she moved to Europe hoping to marry a man with a title. Thus, she married Lord Randolph Spencer-Churchill, a younger son of the seventh Duke of Marlborough whose family home is Blenheim Palace in the Cotswolds.When Jennie and Randolph first met, she was impressed with his drive to stand for Parliament and he admired her athleticism. They had two sons, the oldest being the famous Winston Churchill. Jennie often wrote or rewrote Randolph’s speeches in the House and they were spectacular. As Randolph was not a strong man and as he did not like to leave London where he was so involved with Parliament, Jennie ended up going alone to attend house parties.At a house party, Jennie met Count Charles Kinsky with whom she fell in love. They had an affair but she tried to cut it off. It was not the first affair that she had had. They continued to meet up over the years and their love was true.We learn the truth about Randolph, his homosexuality, and resulting syphilis from which he suffered for many years. Randolph was not a warm father to his sons and never failed to criticize them. Winston was not a top student and this infuriated his father. Both Jennie and Randolph were not hands-on parents in any way. The children were sent off to school at a very young age and their nanny raised them the rest of the time. Even when Winston was very ill, Jennie’s presence at a dinner party was more important than being at her son’s side. This book covers lots of political debate of the time period which some readers may not care for, but I learned a lot from it.I have read other books about Jennie and her sisters. In addition, I am a huge fan of Winston Churchill and have read numerous books about him as well. So, when this book came along, I was very anxious to read it. I was not disappointed. It is terrific. I love English history and this book is tops. Copy provided by NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.
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  • Anne Morgan
    January 1, 1970
    "That Churchill Woman" tries to catch to glitter and charm of Jennie Jerome Churchill, and the Gilded Age in which she lived. Although glimpses of that glitter come through, overall I found the book disappointing. Unevenly and ponderously written with a timeline that jerked the reader from the 'present' to various memories in the past, it was often difficult to follow the thread of the story or what the point was of certain longwinded chapters of reminiscences. For a novel trying to reach into w "That Churchill Woman" tries to catch to glitter and charm of Jennie Jerome Churchill, and the Gilded Age in which she lived. Although glimpses of that glitter come through, overall I found the book disappointing. Unevenly and ponderously written with a timeline that jerked the reader from the 'present' to various memories in the past, it was often difficult to follow the thread of the story or what the point was of certain longwinded chapters of reminiscences. For a novel trying to reach into who Jennie was, the reader comes away with only a shallow understanding of her and what she wanted out of life. Unhappily married, Jennie travels through the Marlborough House set of Prince Bertie without seeming to particularly enjoy the Society she is a part of. While she has a reputation of being politically savvy and a huge part of her husband's political success, only brief nods are made to that here. Most of the novel is focused on the tragic love affair between Jennie and Charles Kinsky. No matter how many times Jennie tries sending Charles away, she ends up going to him- for help, for support, for love. She sends him away and then is distraught when he doesn't come to her. "That Churchill Woman"is full of people trying to follow tradition, doing their duty- and making themselves and everyone around them miserable in the process. This often ends up including the reader. I wanted to like this book, I wanted to discover who Jennie was, what drove her through life. But by the end I didn't feel any closer to knowing this enigmatic American than when I started.
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