The FitzOsbornes in Exile is the second of the Montmaray Journals, the sequel to the YA historical A Brief History of Montmaray, by Michelle Cooper.
I would recommend not reading this review if you haven't yet read A Brief History of Montmaray. It'll contain inevitable spoilers for the first book, and I won't be having that! ;)
Instead, scroll down to Friday's review of A Brief History of Montmaray. Otherwise, let's see what is in store for our darling royal family next...
Sophie FitzOsborne and her family watched as German fighter planes attacked their tiny island kingdom of Montmaray in December of 1936. They were forced to leave their country, and barely made it out alive. Now they are living with their Aunt Charlotte, the Princess Royal who has been living in England for a long time and is fully entrenched in society.
It isn't hard to let the new clothes, luxurious accommodations, and dazzling balls and luncheons sweep Sophie's mind away to a happy place. But at the same time, she can't help but miss home. And when the FitzOsborne's find out that the Nazi's are using Montmaray for their own gain, they can't stand it.
So Sophie continues to write in her journal, as her own voice begins to strengthen and the rumors and rumblings of war get louder. The FitzOsborne's struggle to find a spotlight for their small, forgotten kingdom amidst the larger, more powerful countries.
Will Sophie ever get to go home?
A Brief History of Montmaray made me care so very much for the FitzOsborne's that I simply had to follow them as they entered the completely different world of England, as I mourned the dilapidated, but beloved, Montmaray with them.
The FitzOsbornes in Exile gave me a wonderful view of Sophie growing and maturing, yet keeping her girlish, relatable excitement and curiosity. It is truly a pleasure. This eccentric royal family is fascinating and full of enough secrets that readers should be (in my opinion) as charmed as I am. There is just something so satisfying about seeing the thick stack of pages in your hand, full to the brim with a spicy and smart story that is addictive, gentle, unassuming, yet stuffed with politics, intrigue, mystery and scandal as well.
We've got polite (and not-so-polite) conversation, luncheons with ladies, unrequited love, listless admirers, the fear of war, revelations of cowardice and bravery, a bittersweet coming-of-age sensibility, attempted assasination, and an adventurous quality that comes from a colorful, believable family that loves each other and loves their country. Michelle Cooper creates a yearning that hurts, but also provides moments of delight and laughter to lighten it up.
I am hoping for more Montmaray Journals and more time with the FitzOsbornes! The FitzOsbornes in Exile is a sensitive, powerful, lovely novel that resonates long after you set it down.