Review posted September 19, 2012.
Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 2011. 457 pages.
The FitzOsbornes in Exile is a sequel to the wonderful book A Brief History of Montmaray. In this second book, the FitzOsbornes are living in England after their island kingdom was attacked by German bombers. This is before England has joined World War II. Politics in England involve pacifists and Communists, and meanwhile their aunt just wants to marry off Princess Veronica and Princess Sophia (whose journal this book is taken from) and have them move in the best society.
This is excellent historical fiction and feels like an authentic taste of what life must have been like in England at that time. I enjoyed that after reading this I listened to Historic Conversations with Jacqueline Kennedy and learned that John Kennedy really was in England at that time. (The girls meet him and become friends with his sister.)
There is some plot. Veronica's in love with a Communist, and the whole family is trying to get some attention to the attack on their island.
But overall, this book isn't nearly as thrilling as the first book, which had plenty of death and destruction and danger. It's well done for what it is, and I definitely enjoyed spending time with these characters again, but be aware that this time you're getting more of a historical novel of manners. A good one, but not the thriller that A Brief History of Montmaray turned out to be.
I'm still hooked though, and definitely want to read about what happens to Sophia and her family when war does break out. I hope the next book is coming soon.