Sunday 27 September 2020

The Second Marriage by Gill Paul @GillPaulAUTHOR @RandomTTours BLOG TOUR @AvonBooksUK #TheSecondMarriage




When her first marriage ends in tragedy, Jackie Kennedy fears she’ll never love again. But all that changes when she encounters…

Successful and charming, Ari Onassis is a man who promises her the world. Yet soon after they marry, Jackie learns that his heart also belongs to another…

A beautiful, famed singer, Maria Callas is in love with Jackie’s new husband – and she isn’t going to give up.

Little by little, Jackie and Maria’s lives begin to tangle in a dangerous web of secrets, scandal and lies. But with both women determined to make Ari theirs alone, the stakes are high. How far will they go for true love?

The Second Marriage by Gill Paul was published in paperback on 17 September 2020 by Avon. My thanks to the author who sent my copy for review.

As part of the #RandomThingsTours Blog Tour, I'm delighted to share my thoughts about the book today.


I was totally enthralled by The Second Marriage, so much so that I couldn't put it down for more than a few minutes, and when I did, I bored every person within earshot about it!

I was brought up by an Irish Catholic mother. I spent every summer in Donegal with her family and every single house, bar none had a photo of John F Kennedy on the wall, alongside the Sacred Heart and the portrait of the Pope. My Mum was fascinated by the Kennedys and I grew up loving the stories and the glamour and mystery.

Whilst we have a glut of celebrities now, all across social media, showing us their homes and their families, none of them seem to have that glitz that the Kennedys did. There is no doubt that the Kennedy clan were not all sweetness and light, and the so-called 'Kennedy Curse' proves that, but there was something about the immaculate clothes and the exotic locations that were just fascinating.

When I heard that Gill Paul was basing her latest novel on the lives of two of the most well-known females of that era; Jackie Kennedy Onassis, and Maria Callas, I was delighted and so looking forward to reading it. I really haven't been disappointed. It's an excellent novel.

The author makes it clear in her Author Notes that this is not a true story. She has researched what is known about Jackie and Maria and she has created her own take on their story. However, when reading it, I really wanted to believe everything that the author had created. It is clear that she's really researched both characters, and this is a sympathetic and quite exquisite re-telling of their lives, with a little bit of fiction added.

It's difficult to prefer one woman over the other. When one learns about Jackie's early life, even though it was one of privilege and a certain amount of wealth, she experienced the break-down of her parents marriage and came to realise that although her father loved her dearly, he wasn't a great role model. Her mother was cold and calculating, and it was made clear to both Jackie and her sister Lee that the only way in life was to marry money. Of course Jackie did that.

Maria Callas was probably the most talented opera singer that ever lived and her talent thrust her into the spotlight. Her own mother was determined, yet uncaring and she betrayed Maria many times over the years.

Both women struggled to know what love really was, both of them tolerated infidelity from their partners whilst displaying dignity and grace to the public, although Maria did feel the wrath of the popular press on many occasions.

Most of us are aware of the circumstances of John F Kennedy's assassination and Jackie's second marriage to Aristotle Onassis. Many of us will know that although officially, Onassis' nine-year relationship with Maria was over when he married, they continued to see each other until his death.

This is a beautifully written, rich and emotive story that will transfix the reader. Transported to the glamour of society's elite whilst privy to the deep sorrow, sadness and at times, bitterness experienced by both Jackie and Maria, it's a huge story of love and many deceptions. 

There is no doubt that The Second Marriage will have a place on my favourite books of the year. It's really quite wonderful.

Gill Paul's historical novels have reached the top of the USA Today, Toronto Globe & Mail and kindle charts, and been translated into twenty languages. They include THE SECOND MARRIAGE (titled JACKIE AND MARIA in the US), two bestselling novels about the Romanovs - THE SECRET WIFE and THE LOST DAUGHTER - as well as WOMEN AND CHILDREN FIRST, which was shortlisted for the 2013 RNA Epic Novel of the Year award, NO PLACE FOR A LADY, shortlisted for a Love Stories award, and ANOTHER WOMAN'S HUSBAND, about links you might not have suspected between Wallis Simpson and Princess Diana.
Gill also writes historical non-fiction, including A HISTORY OF MEDICINE IN 50 OBJECTS, and she speaks at libraries and literary festivals on subjects ranging from the Titanic to the Romanovs.
Gill lives in London, where she is working on her tenth novel, and she swims daily in an outdoor pond.

Instagram @gill.paul1
Author Page on Facebook

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