Tuesday, April 4, 2023

Review & Giveaway - - Coronation Year

Coronation Year: A Novel
by Jennifer Robson
Publisher: William Morrow
Release Date: April 4, 2023
Reviewed by Hellie

It is Coronation Year, 1953, and a new queen is about to be crowned. The people of London are in a mood to celebrate, none more so than the residents of the Blue Lion hotel.

Edie Howard, owner and operator of the floundering Blue Lion, has found the miracle she needs: on Coronation Day, Queen Elizabeth in her gold coach will pass by the hotel’s front door, allowing Edie to charge a fortune for rooms and, barring disaster, save her beloved home from financial ruin. Edie’s luck might just be turning, all thanks to a young queen about her own age. 

Stella Donati, a young Italian photographer and Holocaust survivor, has come to live at the Blue Lion while she takes up a coveted position at Picture Weekly magazine. London in celebration mode feels like a different world to her. As she learns the ins and outs of her new profession, Stella discovers a purpose and direction that honor her past and bring hope for her future.

James Geddes, a war hero and gifted artist, has struggled to make his mark in a world that disdains his Indian ancestry. At the Blue Lion, though, he is made to feel welcome and worthy. Yet even as his friendship with Edie deepens, he begins to suspect that something is badly amiss at his new home.

When anonymous threats focused on Coronation Day, the Blue Lion, and even the queen herself disrupt their mood of happy optimism, Edie and her friends must race to uncover the truth, save their home, and expose those who seek to erase the joy and promise of Coronation Year.

Hellie’s Heeds

I am an unapologetic Anglophile who reads historical novels like a child eats bon-bons. I’m sure it’s no surprise to those who know this about me that I feel this book was a 5 star-Top Dish because a lot of things would have had to happen for the book to get lesser marks. However, I have read other books by Jennifer Robson (The Gown, Goodnight from London, After the War is Over) and the writing style and historical detail, as it has been all the times before, is just lovely. 

What makes this story particularly delectable for me is the setting: post-war London (WWII specifically) and I was fascinated by the level of detail regarding rations, post-war “scrimping by” anecdotes, and allusions to Queen Elizabeth (yes, yes, I do love The Crown). I also delighted in encountering characters I had discovered before–Miriam from The Gown, Kaz and Ruby from Goodnight from London. I realized I had missed reading one of Jennifer’s books that took place in Italy (as I said, Anglophile) and undoubtedly tied to one of the other characters in this book. So yes, while I do have my particular setting preferences and historical favorites, Jennifer Robson gives such careful attention no matter when she places her story, creating authentic detail, believable characters, and such high stakes that the reader can’t help but care for the outcome of these people. (And they do feel like people–people your grandparents would introduce you to.) 

Jamie Geddes–the in-resident artist who is staying at the hotel in order to paint Coronation Day for a client–is so swoonworthy. Edie, the hotel-owner who fears (just a little) life is passing her by, is so relatable and perfect for Jamie. Just a picture perfect romance. You ever read a book and you can see it on the screen? This is one of those stories. In fact, I’d like to know when Masterpiece Theatre is going to take these related books and create a television series based off them? Something is going to have to replace Call the Midwife eventually–and I think these books would be perfect. 

If you’ve already binged The Crown and still want more–or want more of the young Queen–go find this. She may be a small part of the book, but she’s still memorable. Long live, Jennifer Robson.


Thanks for that wonderful review, Hellie. You make me want to one-click Coronation Year immediately and move everything on my reading list behind it.

Readers, have you read any books by Jennifer Robson?

Are you as fascinated with British history as Hellie?

What book(s) would you like to see made into a movie/television series?

One randomly chosen person who posts a comment before 11:00 PM, April 6 will receive a print copy of Coronation Year.

*U.S. only

*Must be 18


  1. I've read Robson's The Gown and After the War is Over and loved them both. I think The Gown might make a good movie, but I'm a reluctant movie-watcher myself, so my opinion shouldn't count. Given a choice, I'd rather read than go to the movies, and since my to-be-read list should cover several lifetimes, I usually choose the book!

  2. I have read all of Jennifer Robson's novels which are memorable and captivating. I look forward to enjoying Coronation Year since the era and topic interests me greatly. I am fascinated with British history. Historicals from that era are unforgettable and many novels should be made into a series. Susan Elia MacNeal novels are wonderful.

  3. I haven't read her as yet but I'm looking forward to this one. I'm always interested in history! I'm really not watching much tv - would rather read :)

  4. This sounds so fun, and is perfect timing for next month's Coronation of King Charles! I'm a total mood reader so this will be perfect, thank you! I've never read anything by Jennifer Robson before, so I'm excited to dig in.

  5. Jennifer Robson's books give me great enjoyment. I am awaiting the new release which sounds extremely interesting as all of her other ones were. History interests me greatly and many of the series I have been watching. The review was so well written.

  6. I have read The Gown and liked it very much. Ms Robson is a very talented author. Thanks for the terrific review. I am rather a huge fan of Britain, England, Wales and Scotland stories. My ancestors originated in those places. Hellie, you have given me an urge to get this book asap.

  7. I have read several books by her and have enjoyed all of them. I do love reading books covering British history; probably more so because my mother was born in England. I would like to see Jacqueline Winspear’s Masie Dobbs’ books made into a television series.

  8. No, she is a new to me author. I would not comsider myself an angliophile but I do enjoy reading books based there. I would love to see Tara Grayce's Elven Alliance made into a series. I love a good fantasy romance and don't think there are enough fantasy series available on TV.

  9. I have not read her books. I do love the Royals.


  10. I have not yet read any books by Jennifer Robson, but after this review and checking her Amazon page, I will definitely have to rectify that oversight. I love books steeped in historical detail and connections. I love the number of books coming out dealing with the period around WWII. Robson has certainly contributed some quality works. I am not as much of an Anglophile as Hellie, but do enjoy books set in the British Isles. There are so many good books dealing with the WWII period, there could be many excellent series and movies. THE LAST YEAR OF THE WAR by Susan Meissner would give a view of the war few know about.