I have updated my review and giveaway policies page (now just titled Policies above). If you are entering a giveaway, please read and abide by the applicable policy.

Attention Authors! If you arrived here looking for information on the Two Sides to Every Story guest post series, see the tab at the top of the page for more info!

Search This Blog

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

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

02_The Secret Life of Mrs. London
The Secret Life of Mrs. London
by Rebecca Rosenberg
e-Book & Paperback; 348 pages
Lake Union Publishing
January 30, 2018
goodreads button

Genre: Historical Fiction

Source: Received for review with HFVBT tour

San Francisco, 1915. As America teeters on the brink of world war, Charmian and her husband, famed novelist Jack London, wrestle with genius and desire, politics and marital competitiveness. Charmian longs to be viewed as an equal partner who put her own career on hold to support her husband, but Jack doesn’t see it that way…until Charmian is pulled from the audience during a magic show by escape artist Harry Houdini, a man enmeshed in his own complicated marriage. Suddenly, charmed by the attention Houdini pays her and entranced by his sexual magnetism, Charmian’s eyes open to a world of possibilities that could be her escape.

As Charmian grapples with her urge to explore the forbidden, Jack’s increasingly reckless behavior threatens her dedication. Now torn between two of history’s most mysterious and charismatic figures, she must find the courage to forge her own path, even as she fears the loss of everything she holds dear.

I am not very familiar with Jack London; beyond knowing he had written White Fang and Call of the Wild I knew nothing. This is precisely the reason why I didn’t actually put together that the titular character, Mrs. London, was the wife of this author until quite some time after reading the blurb and then setting down to read it. He is just so far off my radar at this point in time.

This is, however, the third or fourth book that I have read from the perspective of a wife of one of the world’s great male authors of the early twentieth century (Hemingway and Fitzgerald previously). As was my prior experience, I find that I don’t like most of the men at all, they all seem to have been perpetually drunk, the women were overshadowed even when they were writers too, and everyone had affairs with everyone else. Jack London appears to fit that mold quite well too.

Rosenberg did an excellent job of illuminating the mood of the pre-war era, the appeal of Socialism, and the atmosphere within which London and his gang moved. I never quite got inside his head, but we do climb right in to the mind and thoughts of Charmian, his second wife. She was a woman who was so passionately in love with Jack and was critical to his writing process and maintaining his legacy after his death, but she was not without her flaws, which made her such an accessible character, even if I had never known she existed before. She was a very complex and rich character and I especially enjoyed her interactions with Bess Houdini, that woman was a hoot!

As has happened in the past when I have read novels on the life of famous authors, it has stirred my interest in reading London’s works and I have even went so far as to check out online the historical park created of his home in California. If nothing else, these novels serve to reignite interest in the original author’s works.

Reviews of this book by other bloggers:

Buy the Book: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | RJ Julia

Find Rebecca Rosenberg: Website | Facebook | Book’s Facebook Page | Blog | Goodreads


As part of the tour I have the pleasure to be giving away one paperback copies of The Secret Life of Mrs. London! To enter, please enter via the Rafflecopter app below.  Good luck!

Giveaway Rules

  • Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on February 24th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
  • Giveaway is open to US residents only (tour rule).
  • Only one entry per household.
  • All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
  • Winner will be notified by email and has 5 days to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Follow the Tour

04_TSLOML_Blog Tour Banner_FINAL

At HFVBT Website or on Twitter: #TheSecretLifeofMrsLondonBlogTour

Tuesday, January 30
Review at A Bookaholic Swede

Wednesday, January 31
Interview & Giveaway at Passages to the Past

Thursday, February 1
Guest Post at Let Them Read Books
Feature at What Is That Book About

Friday, February 2
Review at View from the Birdhouse
Feature at Historical Fiction with Spirit

Monday, February 5
Review at Creating Herstory

Tuesday, February 6
Review at Planting Cabbages

Wednesday, February 7
Review at A Bookish Affair
Review at History From a Woman’s Perspective

Thursday, February 8
Interview at Planting Cabbages

Friday, February 9
Review at Bookish

Sunday, February 11
Review at Carole’s Ramblings

Monday, February 12
Review at Cup of Sensibility

Tuesday, February 13
Review & Giveaway at The Maiden’s Court

Wednesday, February 14
Review at Donna’s Book Blog

Thursday, February 15
Review at Jorie Loves a Story

Friday, February 16
Guest Post at Short Book and Scribes

Monday, February 19
Review at Reading the Past

Tuesday, February 20
Review at The Lit Bitch

Friday, February 23
Review at Pursuing Stacie

Monday, February 26
Review at Back Porchervations

Tuesday, February 27
Guest Post at My Reading Corner

Wednesday, February 28
Review & Giveaway at Suzy Approved Book Reviews

Thursday, March 1
Review at What Cathy Read Next

Friday, March 2
Review at Svetlana’s Reads and Views

Monday, March 5
Review at Caryn, the Book Whisperer

Tuesday, March 6
Review at Bookish Beck

Copyright © 2018 by The Maiden’s Court


  1. The second review I am reading today of this book. Sounds very good.

  2. You had me at 'Houdini'—for some reason I've always been fascinated with Harry Houdini!
    I also didn't make the connection with Jack London.

  3. This novel sounds captivating and fascinating. Houdini and his life, abilities and background is profound, especially being Jewish and his visit to McGill in Montreal.

  4. Love your review. I too read about Hemmingway and a few others. It seems to have been a theme or way of life for the drunkiness and affairs so out in the open. This book does sound fascinating just with the characters alone. Look forward to reading it.
    Carol Luciano
    Lucky4750 at aol dot com

  5. Wonderful review. I have added this book to my TBR list. Thanks for the giveaway!

  6. This book sounds wonderful. I am looking forward to reading it.


  7. Thanks for the review! I have never read a historical novel connected to a literary character/author before. This is going to be fun based on the excellent job the writer did on the setting alone.


Thanks for leaving your comments! I love reading them and try to reply to all!