Queen Wallis

A Novel

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Pub Date 18 Jul 2023 | Archive Date 01 Aug 2023
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The thrilling sequel to Widowland, a thrilling feminist dystopian novel set in an alternative history that terrifyingly imagines what a British alliance with Germany would look like if the Nazis had won WWII.

London, 1955. The Leader has been dead for two years. His assassination, on British soil, provoked violent retribution and intensified repression of British citizens, particularly women. Now, more than ever, the Protectorate is a place of surveillance and isolation—a land of spies.

Every evening Rose Ransom looks in the mirror and marvels that she's even alive. A mere woman, her role in the Leader's death has been miraculously overlooked. She still works at the Culture Ministry, where her work now focuses on poetry, which has been banned for its subversive meanings, emotions, and signals that cannot be controlled.

A government propaganda drive to promote positive images of women has just been announced ahead of a visit from Dwight D. Eisenhower, the first American president to set foot on English soil in two decades. Queen Wallis Simpson will be spearheading the campaign, and Rose has been tasked with visiting her to explain the plan. When Rose arrives at the palace, she finds Wallis in a state of paranoia, desperate to return to America and enjoy the liberty of her homeland following her husband's death. Wallis claims she has a secret document so explosive that it will blow the Protectorate apart. But will the last queen of England pull the trigger on the Alliance?


The thrilling sequel to Widowland, a thrilling feminist dystopian novel set in an alternative history that terrifyingly imagines what a British...

Advance Praise


 "C.J. Carey pens a stunning sequel to last year's smash hit Widowland, a disturbing alternate-history vision of 1950s Britain under the iron rule of a victorious Hitler. An uneasy peace now grips London in the wake of the Fuhrer's death, and poetry censor Rose Ransom hopes simply to keep her head down and her hands clean. But a chance to interview King Edward VIII's widowed queen in Buckingham Palace upends Rose's life, and possibly the lives of everyone tired of living under the Reich's boot. Queen Wallis is a tense, gripping read, sure to enthrall readers everywhere." —Kate Quinn, New York Times bestselling author of The Rose Code

"Following the brilliant Widowland, this story of alternative history about a place and time I not only write about but experienced personally is so chilling, compelling, and real that I found myself questioning my own childhood." —Rhys Bowen, New York Times bestselling author

"In this sequel to her wonderfully innovative debut Widowland, Carey again spins a tale so harrowing and fantastical, yet so relevant to our world today…Queen Wallis is a propulsive, terrifying read that gripped me from start to finish." —Natalie Jenner, internationally bestselling author of The Jane Austen Society and Bloomsbury Girls

"An inventive, riveting alternate history of England transformed by an alliance with fascist Germany...A fantastic read!" —Anika Scott, internationally bestselling author of The German Heiress

“An incredibly compelling and disturbing look at an alternate time in which Germany won WWII and invaded England…Reminiscent of The Handmaid’s Tale, with dark twists…A fascinating and winning follow-up to Widowland.” —Eliza Knight, USA Today bestselling author of Starring Adele Astaire

"Queen Wallis is a chilling answer to one of the most fraught questions in history: what if?... Taking the best elements of Fatherland, The Handmaid’s Tale, and 1984, Carey creates an alternate history that is equal parts riveting and horrifying. An engrossing and important read." —Aimie K. Runyan, bestselling author of The School for German Brides

"In this beautiful love letter to poetry and the power of words, C. J. Carey pairs rich world-building, a starkly relevant feminist message, and fascinatingly nuanced characters to create an unforgettable story of hope and resistance. Carey wraps it all in a taut thriller that will have readers flipping the pages to a propulsive and emotional ending. This is one that will stay with you long after you’re finished reading. A must-read for all literature lovers." —Brianna Labuskes, author of The Librarian of Burned Books


"C.J. Carey pens a stunning sequel to last year's smash hit Widowland, a disturbing alternate-history vision of 1950s Britain under the iron...

Available Editions

EDITION Paperback
ISBN 9781728248479
PRICE $16.99 (USD)

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Average rating from 39 members

Featured Reviews

A magnificent look at England if the Nazis had won and Wallis Simpson had become Queen Consort of England. Though Wallis isn’t a character in the novel, something I find strange considering the book is named Queen Wallis, it is chilling to think this world could have been hers if her husband had stayed king and married her despite objections.

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I had enjoyed the previous book in this series Widowland, and was excited to read this sequel. It was such a strong sequel and had everything that I was looking for in this type of book. C. J. Carey has a great writing style and it was what I expected from the author. I enjoyed the characters and that they felt like the same characters from Widowland.

“He’s very charismatic.” “Isn’t he? Nicholas says poetry is the place where people have always found meaning. More than in politics or religion. Because it expresses our deepest hopes and fears.” “Do you think he’s right?” "Oh. Of course.” The girl was so open and innocent. As if she was unaware that her words could sign her own arrest warrant."

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I loved the first book in this exciting and atmospheric alt-history series, which I believe will be at least a trilogy. Surprisingly, this book gave me a version of Wallis Simpson (I have never been a Wallis fan) that I actually liked. Eagerly awaiting the next volume.

Thanks to NetGalley for providing an ARC for my review.

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I received this advanced reader copy from NetGalley in exchange for a free review.

I was greatly looking forward to reading this novel and it did not disappoint! I fell madly in love with the first novel in the series last year, and read it in a matter of 2 days. I was super excited to read the next installment in Rose Ransom's adventures in an alternate version of post-WWII London.

I will admit this sequel wasn't as fast-paced as the first novel "Widowland", but it had a lot more work to do in order to pick up the storyline and carry it forward in a believable fashion. I genuinely enjoyed "Queen Wallis" a great deal, and I would definitely recommend it to anyone who read the first novel in this series.

I particularly enjoyed how several of minor characters from the first novel made surprise appearances in this sequel. Specifically the police detective, and Kate, one of the Widows from the first novel. While that may not be a surprise for an average sequel, in this particular world it was difficult to imagine how various co-conspirators or individuals who looked the other way in the first novel, were still around given the harshness of penalties and interrogations in the Anglo-Saxon Alliance. I also really enjoyed the way the plot cinched together all the various open-ended storylines at the very end. As the story picked up, I couldn't put the book down. I raced through the last 40% of the novel in less than 12 hours.

Excellent sequel! Well worth reading!

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