Thursday 16 September 2021

Audio: The second Mrs. Astor by Shana Abe


Narrated by: Lauren Ezzo

Length: 10 hrs and 46 mins

Release date: 08-31-21

Publisher: Tantor Audio

Historical fiction

To review

I enjoyed the narration  by Lauren, I have not listened to her before but she really nailed the atmosphere of the book. She told it well, and the characters had their own voices and life.

It was a romance, did I believe it? Eh, I mean I am sure Astor was happy to get a pretty young wife. I am sure he cared. As for Madeline, I mean at that age if the richest man in the world!! asks you to marry him, well hell yeah. Go for it. Not to mention he is a warhero, inventor and more. I did like how the author made them fall and deeply care.

A lot of the book take part during that courtship, and even then the press hounded the rich and famous.

Then comes the honeymoon and the end of the honeymoon, Titanic. This part did make me cry. It was just told in such an easy way, even at the end there was a calm. And that made me cry, and certain things.

The after part is not that long, more learning to live again. 

I liked the book, I can't say I knew anything about the Astors before this, and you know a book about a ship going down always will have you in tears.

Madeleine Talmage Force is just 17 when she attracts the attention of John Jacob "Jack" Astor. Madeleine is beautiful, intelligent, and solidly upper-class, but the Astors are in a league apart. Jack's mother was the Mrs. Astor, American royalty and New York's most formidable socialite. Despite their 29-year age difference and the scandal of Jack's recent divorce, Madeleine falls headlong into love - and becomes the press' favorite target.

On their extended honeymoon in Egypt, the newlyweds finally find a measure of peace away from photographers and journalists. Madeleine feels truly alive for the first time - and is happily pregnant. The couple plans to return home in the spring of 1912, aboard an opulent new ocean liner. When the ship hits an iceberg close to midnight on April 14th, there is no immediate panic. The swift, state-of-the-art RMS Titanic seems unsinkable. As Jack helps Madeleine into a lifeboat, he assures her that he'll see her soon in New York....

Four months later, at the Astors' Fifth Avenue mansion, a widowed Madeleine gives birth to their son. In the wake of the disaster, the press has elevated her to the status of virtuous, tragic heroine. But Madeleine's most important decision still lies ahead: whether to accept the role assigned to her or carve out her own remarkable path....


  1. I haven't read any books that are set on the Titanic or have that ship in them but I can imagine that it would be very emotional.

  2. Knowing what happened to Astor on the Titanic, I can already tell this is going to be a heartbreaking one, but I do love the concept.

  3. OH NO! Yep, I'd be crying by the end of chapter 1. Glad you enjoyed it.

    1. Well, by chapter 1 they are in NY, so you are fine

  4. Oh it's been so long since I haven't read one of her books!

  5. Sounds really good, didnt know of the Astor's either. I walked out before the end though of the Titanic movie!

  6. Oh wow, another author name from my past. I loved her dragon books, great writing. I'm curious to see how she handles historical fiction!

  7. I knew the facts of their being on the Titanic, but to get it in a romance story would have me crying ugly tears, too. But, I will probably read it.

    1. Well, it was not a romance. It is historical fiction, so people die

  8. Huh! I know so little on the Astors!! adding to my TBR lis!



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