What if Princess Diana hadn't died? Diana's life and marriage were fairy tale and nightmare. Adored by millions, in her personal life she suffered heartbreak and betrayal. Within a life of privilege, she frequently felt trapped and alone. Constrained by protocol and precedent, she refused to follow the rules. "Untold Story" takes the life of the ...
What if Princess Diana hadn't died? Diana's life and marriage were fairy tale and nightmare. Adored by millions, in her personal life she suffered heartbreak and betrayal. Within a life of privilege, she frequently felt trapped and alone. Constrained by protocol and precedent, she refused to follow the rules. "Untold Story" takes the life of the world's most famous woman as a point of departure, examining the past and imagining a future. The fictional princess who is the novel's heroine is at breaking point and, believing that the Establishment is plotting her assassination, she makes an irrevocable decision: to stage her own death and begin a new life under an assumed identity. After a period of intense upheaval, Lydia (as she is known) settles in small town America and establishes a fragile peace. It is threatened by thoughts of what she has lost: not the glamour and glitz of royalty but that which is most precious - her children. She is, at least, safe in the knowledge - having altered her appearance and ten years after her 'death' - that her secret will never be uncovered. But then a chance encounter with a member of the paparazzi robs her of that certainty. Will he recognize her? Should she flee or remain calm? Is there anyone she can trust and turn to, or will she inevitably be betrayed? "Untold Story" is a novel about family and friendship, intrigue and obsession, the meaning of identity, and the peculiar calamity of fame.
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Publishers Weekly, 2011-05-02 Ali (Brick Lane) tackles a juicy premise: what if Diana hadn't died. Far from a salacious romp, though, this is a (sometimes too) slow character study of a woman in extraordinary circumstances. Here, Diana-err, Lydia-has escaped her life as an ex-princess for a new one in the states. All the real details of her previous life-carefully researched and extrapolated from-are there, with one exception; having survived the car accident, she later fakes her death (by drowning) and finds her way, via Brazil, to America. She ends up, on a darkly humorous whim, in an anonymous everytown called Kensington, where she builds a quiet life with her dog, Rufus, a job at an animal shelter, and a tight group of friends. When a British paparazzo stumbles into her town, though, her new life is threatened. This tense development is almost a subplot, overtaken as it is by Lydia's emotional exploration-how she was nearing the edge before her "death," how unbearable but necessary it was for her to leave her sons, how she has matured and recovered over the years. The result is a very human rendering of a mythical woman who survives a tumultuous youth to find an aggressively calm middle age. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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