5.-7. The Montmaray Journals

5. A Brief History of Montmaray, Michelle Cooper

6. The FitzOsbornes in Exile, Michelle Cooper

7. The FitzOsbornes at War, Michelle Cooper

This is an tremendous young adult trilogy that you absolutely must read.  If you loved I Capture the Castle, if you like books about World War II, if you like Nancy Mitford, if you have any interest in the 1930s, seriously, if you like books you will like these.  Literally, the only caveat is that I read them previously and I might have recommended them before, though I can’t find any evidence of it on the blog.  

There are three novels, all narrated (in the form of a diary) by Princess Sophia of Montmaray.  Montmaray is a tiny (imaginary) island kingdom in the middle of the bay of Biscay, and at the start of the first novel (October 1936), the sole inhabitants are six villagers, and the royal family.  That consists of Mad King John, his intellectual and competent daughter Victoria, and his orphaned nieces and nephews, Toby (Future King - there is Salic law in Montmaray), Sophia, and Henrietta.  The point is, this isn’t the lap of luxury.  The roof leaks, the wind blows, supplies are limited because the tides are so rough.  But Montmaray is home, and they love it.

Over the course of the novels we follow the family as intrigues happen - most relating to the upcoming World War and the fact that the Germans decide Montmaray would be a good base for excursions into England.  But beyond the plot (which is pretty good), the characters are amazing. Sophia, Toby, Veronica, Henry - Simon (the housekeeper’s disturbingly handsome son), we soon feel like we know them.  And the historical references are spot on (the Mitfords, Mosely, Kick Kennedy, to name a few).  These are the kind of books you read as a teenager and fall in love with, and keep re-reading over again.  It’s so rare to run across that sort of a thing as an adult, a book you can just fall into and be entrapped by its world - and one that has two sequels!! Seriously, I love, love these books, and I think my readers (and I’m thinking of a few of you in particular) will too - unless I already recommended them to you and you already read them!

© Carrie Dunsmore 2017