Title: Diana, William and Harry: The
Heartbreaking Story of a Princess
Author: James Patterson, Chris Mooney
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Format: Audiobook ARC
Narrators: Matthew Lloyd Davis
Length: 10 hrs 24 mins
No. of Pages: 448
Date of Publication: August 15, 2022
My Rating: 4 Stars
Instant New York Times Bestseller!
“She was the best mother in the world,” said Princes William and Harry at Diana’s 10-year memorial. “Entertaining and persuasive,” (Publishers Weekly) this is the first big book about the private Diana, the mother of two princes.
“Royal fans will devour this well-paced biography that gives new insight into the House of Windsor. You’ll tear through it by sundown and walk away thinking about the Princess of Wales and her two sons with new perspective .” –Men’s Journal
From the moments William and Harry are born into the House of Windsor, they become their young mother’s whole world.
I’ve got two very healthy, strong boys. I realize how incredibly lucky I am, Diana reminds herself every morning. But even the Princess of Wales questions, Am I a good mother?
Diana’s faced with a seemingly impossible challenge: one son destined to be King of England and another determined to find his own way. She teaches them to honor royal tradition, even while daring to break it.
“Sometimes I’d like a time machine…” Diana says as William and Harry grow up, never imagining they’d have less than a lifetime together. Even after she’s gone, her sons follow their mother’s lead—and her heart. As the years pass and William and Harry grow into adulthood and form families of their own, they carry on Diana’s name, her likeness, and her incomparable spirit.
“James Patterson applies his writerly skills to real-life history with novelistic style” (People) in this deeply personal and revealing biography of the world’s most storied family, from the world’s #1 bestselling author.
Diana, Princess of Wales, only lived until 36 years of age, and tragically died on August 31, 1997. She was mother to William and Harry, as anyone with knowledge of the British royal family is aware of. James Patterson and Chris Mooney have written a timely memoir of sorts in consideration of lives of Lady Diana and her sons William and Harry. As the boys came into the world, they were the chief focus of her life. As her marriage slowly fell apart, Lady Diana remained close to her sons.
While this book was more than informative about Princess Diana and her sons, it focused more on her. As I listened to this as an audiobook, I found the narration to be a bit dry. However, with excellent research a lot of what has been posted in the media was accurately recounted.
With the sad death of Queen Elizabeth, it was more than timely that I had the chance to listen to experiences that involved the royal family. I have no doubt that many other books are or will be written that focus on the British Monarchy.
Many thanks to Little, Brown and Company and to NetGalley for this ARC for review. This is my honest opinion.
ABOUT THE AUTHORS:
The son of an insurance salesman and a schoolteacher, Patterson grew up in Newburgh, New York, and began casually writing at the age of nineteen. In 1969, he graduated from Manhattan College. He was given a full ride to Vanderbilt University’s graduate program in English but dropped out after a year, knowing that he wouldn’t be able to continue reading and writing for pleasure if he became a college professor.
Instead, he moved to New York to become a junior copywriter for the advertising agency J. Walter Thompson, eventually becoming CEO of its North American company.
In 1976, while still working for J. Walter Thompson, Patterson published his first novel, The Thomas Berryman Number, with Little, Brown and Company. After being turned down by thirty-one publishers, it won the Edgar Award for Best First Novel. Patterson’s 1993 novel, Along Came a Spider, his first novel to feature Alex Cross, was also his first New York Times bestseller in fiction.
In 2001, Morgan Freeman starred as Alex Cross in a film adaptation of Along Came a Spider, and Tyler Perry also played the character in the 2012 film Alex Cross. A film adaptation of Patterson’s middle-grade novel Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life was released in theaters in October 2016.
For his initiatives to help kids become passionate readers and for his philanthropic efforts, Patterson was awarded the National Book Foundation’s 2015 Literarian Award for Outstanding Service to the American Literary Community.
James Patterson has donated more than one million books to students, emphasizing some of the most under-resourced schools and youth programs in the country. In 2015, Patterson donated $1.75 million to public school libraries throughout the United States, $1 million to independent bookstores, and a further $250,000 in holiday bonuses to individual bookstore employees. He also gave $1 million to independent bookstores in 2014.
Patterson has recently donated over $26 million to his and his wife’s alma maters—the University of Wisconsin, Vanderbilt University, and Manhattan College—and he has established over four hundred Teacher Education Scholarships at twenty-four colleges and universities throughout the country. Patterson has also donated over 650,000 books to U.S. soldiers at home and overseas.
In May 2015, Patterson launched a new children’s book imprint at Little, Brown, called JIMMY Patterson, that is unwaveringly focused on one goal: turning kids into lifelong readers. This imprint also provides resources, strategies, and programs to serve teachers, parents, librarians, and booksellers. Patterson invests proceeds from the sales of JIMMY Patterson Books in pro-reading initiatives.
Patterson has also founded ReadKiddoRead.com, a website designed to help parents, teachers, and librarians ignite a new generation’s excitement for reading. Awarded the National Book Foundation’s Innovations in Reading Prize and the American Library Association’s Great Websites for Kids, the site features thoughtful book reviews from a variety of genres and age ranges, a large and lively Facebook community, and contributions from other authors.
Mr. Patterson’s awards for adult and children’s literature include the Edgar Award, the International Thriller of the Year Award, and the Children’s Choice Award for Author of the Year.
He lives in Palm Beach with his wife, Sue, and his son, Jack.
Chris teaches writing courses at Harvard and the Harvard Extension School, and lives in the Boston area with his wife and son. His new novel, Blood World, will be released in August of 2020.