Friday, 12 October 2018

Book review : Betsy & Lilibet - Sophie Duffy

Earlier in the year, I discovered a brand new author, Sophie Duffy, and smiled as I relived my childhood years in the pages of her debut novel, The Generation Game. (Click through to read my review.) She is back with a brand new novel, Betsy & Lilibet, which is another look back at the recent history of Great Britain.

Elizabeth Sarah Sunshine, better known as Betsy, was born in London in 1926, on the same day as the future Queen of England. Now in a residential home on the south coast, she looks back over her life, in which she managed to meet her royal "twin" three times. That was certainly not the only drama that she went through though.

From following her parents into the family undertaking business, sitting through the air raids of World War II, getting married to an Irishman called Mick and taking on the child of her "sister" Janet (taken on by the family when all of hers was wiped out in a bomb raid) as her own, Betsy's life has been full of events : some big, some small, but all of them capable of raising a smile or a swiftly wiped away tear as you read along.

Betsy is full of life, full of adventure and full of an amazing number of things happening in her life, until you actually sit back and think about it and realise that any one of us could live her life. She is given an MBE for her work as an undertaker and is later invited along to a dinner for those who were born in the same year as the Queen, but apart from those two things, she does nothing exceptional, in the sense that we couldn't do the same. Her family still come to see her and it is lovely to see them growing older, and possibly wiser, as well as discovering that those things that haunt us may turn out to be nothing at all. The quotes from Queen Elizabeth in between the various chapters really seem to apply to Betsy's life too.

It's a wonderful look back over the last century.

star rating : 4.5/5

RRP : £8.99

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Legend Press (4 Oct. 2018)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9781787198715
  • ISBN-13: 978-1787198715

Want to see what everyone else thought? Check out the Betsy and Lilibet Blog Tour

Disclosure : I received the book in order to write an honest review.


  1. This looks like a good read, I am on the lookout for a new book so will have a look for this one.

  2. I enjoyed this book very much, such a fascinating story. Loved the Queen's cameo appearances too.

  3. It does sound like a lovely book, heart warming and relevant xx


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