‘The Secret Life of Mrs. London’ Shines a Light on One of History’s Most Enigmatic Women [REVIEW]

Charmian Kittredge London

Author Jack London’s success was due in large part to his wife, Charmian Kittredge London. (Photo by James E. Purdy)

Wife. Editor. Writer. Lover. She had a career. She had a husband. She had a decision to make. Meet Charmian, a woman ahead of her time, in Rebecca Rosenberg’s debut novel, The Secret Life of Mrs. London. 


Lake Union

1915 may have been the year the Panama-Pacific International Exposition opened in San Francisco, but it was also the same time when America resisted getting embroiled in World War I. Meanwhile, two of the city’s residents were having a dispute of their own.

Jack London wrote many of the nation’s best-loved books, but it was his wife, Charmian, who edited his work and made his stories shine. A writer herself, she put her life on hold to help him with his career, a fact Jack didn’t really want to recognize. But as his wife became increasingly determined to foster her career, the winds of change began to blow.

Enter famed escape artist Harry Houdini, a charismatic man with marital troubles of his own. When Jack and Charmian attend one of his shows, she is surprised when she is plucked from the audience to assist him during the performance. That instant becomes one of those life-changing moments after which nothing is ever the same again.

Bewitched by Houdini’s charm, Charmian suddenly finds herself torn between two men: the husband she’s bound to by a sense of duty and the man who opens her eyes to a whole new world. Only she can decide which path to choose. But will her ultimate decision lead to reckless disaster or utter freedom?

With The Secret Life of Mrs. London, we witness the birth of a literary powerhouse. Not only has Rebecca Rosenberg taken little-known history about two of America’s most enigmatic men and woven it into a novel that writhes with life and keeps us spellbound, but she has given a megaphone to the one woman who inspired them both. Charmian is riveting and modern, tenacious and talented, passionate and smart. In modern society, she would likely sit on top of the world, and in an age where the feminist movement is just gaining momentum, she still becomes a force to be reckoned with and is utterly fascinating as a character.

Richly layered and thoroughly researched, readers are transported to the progressive era in American history, before the nation was ransacked by war, when it was still caught up in the social activism and political reform of the time. Stretching across the country, from San Francisco to New York, this is a story about a strong woman who finds herself facing the ultimate conundrum and learns to navigate its tricky waters. This tale will delight readers who love novels which strip away the facade of history to reveal the beating hearts of real men and women we only thought we knew.

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Rebecca Rosenberg

Rebecca Rosenberg


California native Rebecca Rosenberg lives on a lavender farm with her family in Sonoma, the Valley of the Moon, where she and her husband own and operate the largest lavender-product company in America.

A longtime student of Jack London’s work and an avid fan of his daring wife, Charmian, Rosenberg is a graduate of the Standford Writing Certificate Program. The Secret Life of Mrs. London is her debut novel, following her non-fiction, Lavender Fields of America.

To find out more, visit Rebecca at her home on the Web, Rebecca-Rosenberg.com. You may also like her on Facebook and follow her on Twitter, Instagram, BookBub, Amazon, and Goodreads.

By Rebecca Rosenberg
348 pp. Lake Union. $14.95

Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours bannerPurchase The Secret Life of Mrs. London at one of these fine online retailers: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, IndieBound, and Powell’s.

The Secret Life of Mrs. London is brought to you in association with Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours.

About Jathan Fink
Jathan is a journalist, philanthropist, and entrepreneur. He is also a travel junkie, foodie and jazz aficionado. A California native, he resides in Texas.

4 Responses to ‘The Secret Life of Mrs. London’ Shines a Light on One of History’s Most Enigmatic Women [REVIEW]

  1. rebecca4447 says:

    Thanks Jathan, I really enjoyed reading your take on THE SECRET LIFE OF MRS. LONDON. I would appreciate it if you post on Amazon! https://www.amazon.com/dp/B072KRP7MN

  2. Amy Bruno says:

    Thank you so much for this incredible review & for hosting Rebecca’s blog tour! You’re the best!

    HF Virtual Book Tours

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