The Royal Correspondent: A Novel Review
“The King’s Road is the place to be if you’re over all that middle-aged, middle-class respectability”
The Royal Correspondent is Alexandra Joel’s second novel, and it’s a cracker. Or should I say, it’s groovy since it’s set in the early 1960s. The story follows Blaise Hill as she embarks on her goal to be a serious news reporter in a man’s domain. From her early days as a copy boy, yep there were no copy girls, to a reporter on the women’s pages and then onto London to be the paper’s Royal Correspondent, Blaise matures professionally and personally. She rises from her working-class background to a beautiful and intelligent woman who makes an impression on London’s society scene. The story has both a love story and elements of mystery.
I’m a huge fan of the 1960s and would love to step back in time and live in London during this fabulous decade. The novel immerses you in the events of Princess Margaret’s controversial marriage, high society in Britain and Fleet Street. I loved how Joel weaved in Christine Keeler, introducing the beginnings of the Profumo Affair, and stepping into the mini skirt world of Mary Quant. The fashion, one of my favourite hobbies and love, came to life with Joel’s rich descriptions, while the character’s emotions and conflicts engaged me page after page.
Once I started this novel, I couldn’t put it down. I immediately connected with the protagonist, Blaise Hill, and was intrigued by Adam Rule, the man that stole her heart. Joel’s own experience with journalism comes through, allowing the setting to sing with realism and energy. She builds an authentic world within the newsrooms of Sydney and London with meticulous detail. I could smell the smoky newsroom and hear the clackety-clack of the typewriter keys. Joel’s portrayal of the male-dominated world of journalism made me want to jump in between the lines and throttle them all with their patriarchal ways. But Blaise’s intellect and determination shone through. I connected with her immediately and became invested in her own personal goal to be taken seriously as a reporter and to find love.
The descriptions of all the places and people held immense clarity and all my senses were ignited. The story’s pace contained the right amount of undulating rhythm, moving from event to event with ease. The narrative’s mystery and intrigue added to the story’s appeal; I couldn’t wait to get home and read more of the story each day.
I’m now a huge fan of Alexandra Joel and cannot wait to read her first novel, The Paris Model.
If you want to know more about Alexandra Joel and her other books, please click here.
Happy reading 🌸