Monday, March 12, 2018

The Secret Life of Mrs. London by Rebecca Rosenberg - Book Review & Giveaway

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Review by Suze

Charmian is married to novelist Jack London. It's 1915 and the war is keeping the Americans occupied. Jack needs Charmian to organize his life. She's the one who types his articles, speeches and stories and makes sure he writes enough words to make his deadlines. Jack isn't an easy man to live with. He asks for complete devotion, but does what he wants. He's unpredictable, can't manage his finances very well and doesn't take care of himself in the way he should. There are always other women in his life too. Charmian can stand her ground though. She's a classy woman and she certainly has her own admirers. She craves Jack's love, but he only seems willing to give himself to her completely when there's someone to compete with.

While Jack's behavior is getting more erratic Charmian struggles with her loyalty. Will she go for her own happiness or will she do what her husband asks of her? Will she bend to Jack's will or are there dreams of her own she should chase? Jack's health is declining and his need to earn more money is increasing. How will Charmian juggle this large number of problems? Fortunately her good friend Harry Houdini keeps cheering her up. His dangerous profession, cryptical letters and flattering attention are a welcome distraction, but will her conscience be able to handle this second large personality in her life?

The Secret Life of Mrs. London is an intriguing story. I loved Charmian's intelligence and resilience. She's a beautiful woman inside and out. Jack is a charismatic man, but he's difficult to live with. Charmian can handle him as far as he can be handled. Their marriage is tumultuous, filled with power struggles and laced with intellect. There's love and resentment, there's grief and anger, but there are also happy moments. Charmian is a remarkable woman and she catches the eye of many men. One of them is the escape artist Harry Houdini. Harry loves her in a completely different way, but he isn't a free man. Charmian's conscience is constantly being tested and I couldn't wait to find out if she'd follow her heart or not.

Rebecca Rosenberg has a fantastic spellbinding writing style. I absolutely loved her subject matter. I like fiction about real people. I enjoyed reading about the facade of glamour, the parties, the mornings after and the glorious holidays that always have to come to an end. Charmian has to work hard to make sure her husband delivers his books and articles, so they can pay for all of Jack's personal and business projects. Without her there wouldn't be a successful Jack London. Their marriage is twisted and tangled and because of it there are so many complex contradictions in their story, which was absolutely fascinating. The Secret Life of Mrs. London is a dynamic, entertaining and compelling book. I highly recommend this gorgeous novel.


If you love historical fiction about people who were once famous, you don't want to miss The Secret Life of Mrs. London. Please keep in mind that this story is a mix of fact and fiction and shouldn't be read as an historical document.

About Rebecca Rosenberg

A California native, Rebecca Rosenberg lives on a lavender farm with her family in Sonoma, the Valley of the Moon, where Jack London wrote from his Beauty Ranch. Rebecca is a long-time student of Jack London’s works and an avid fan of his daring wife, Charmian London. THE SECRET LIFE OF MRS. LONDON is her debut novel, following her non-fiction, LAVENDER FIELDS OF AMERICA.

Rebecca and her husband, Gary, founded the largest lavender product company in America, selling to 4000 resorts, spas and gift stores. The Rosenbergs believe in giving back to the Sonoma Community, supporting many causes through financial donations and board positions, including Jack London Park, Worth Our Weight, an educational culinary program for at-risk children, YWCA shelter for abused women, Luther Burbank Performing Arts Center to provide performances for children, Sonoma Food Bank, Sonoma Boys and Girls Club, and the Valley of the Moon Children's Home.


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One very lucky reader of With Love for Books will receive a digital copy of The Secret Life of Mrs. London by Rebecca Rosenberg.

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The winner will be notified by email and has 3 days to respond. All of our giveaways are international.


  1. The Secret Life of Mrs. London sounds like a tantalising, passionate and adventurous portrait of a tempestuous marriage between two unconventional people.

  2. wow, loving the cover, and the story sounds fab!

  3. I love strong female characters in books! Sounds awesome.