Duchess, the final book in Susan May Warren’s historical trilogy is a satisfying end to the series.
We started with Heiress, the story of the Esme and Jinx Price and different paths in life. Baroness followed their daughters, Rosie and Lilly in their quests to belong.
Duchess is all Rosie, bringing the family full circle.
I reviewed several of Warren’s other books and it’s no secret I’m a big fan.
Duchess lives up the Warren’s standards. The writing is lyrical without the poetry of the words distracting from the story.
I had a small quibble with Baroness. I didn’t feel Rosie’s motivation to pursue a career on stage had been given enough plausible set up. But that was dealt with a bit more in Duchess. Enough that I’m okay with it now.
In Baroness we left Rosie as she made a deal with Dash: she’d act in motion pictures and he’d make her a star.
We start Duchess with Rosie living her dream. Her new movie has just premiered. She’s married (although secretly) to Dash and they are partners in their fledging studio. She hates being considered a property though and rebels when she’s loaned out to another studio for a World War I epic. She and a stunt pilot named Rafe renew their acquaintance and it helps pass the time on location.
We follow Rosie through several pictures and heartbreak when she loses both a child and her husband. Then she discovers that her stunt pilot friend isn’t who she thought he was.
A few years pass. Hitler is stirring up things in Europe. Rafe returns and offers her a chance to reignite her movie career with a film he’s producing in Austria and Belgium. Rose agrees and is soon caught up in world events.
I appreciated how Warren tied up all the loose ends in the Price/Worth family. I loved the story, the inside glimpses of life in Hollywood in the 1930s and ‘40s. I was born in the same hospital that Rosie lost her baby in. Many of the sites mentioned are familiar to me as a California native. I liked that Warren did her research and got it right.
All in all, I loved Duchess and I enthusiastically recommend it.