Quick Book Review: Untold Story by Monica Ali

The Untold Story by Monica Ali

This book tells the story of Princess Diana, who lives a secret life in the USA, ten years after everyone thinks she has died. She has moved around quite a few times, but has now settled in Kensington, a small town, where she has found a job and made some friends. She has been very careful not to tell anyone who she is but this becomes a problem when her boyfriend, Carson, wants to know more about her and her past.

The story of what is happening in the now is told through the eyes of Lydia, the name Diana is using now. There are also diary notes by Lawrence, one of her advisors who helped her disappear, and letters that Lydia wrote to him. They tell the story of what happened soon after the disappearance and how she settled in Kensington. The current story is also seen from the eyes of Grabowski, a paparazzo, who becomes interested in Lydia because of her beautiful eyes.

This was an easy read, which I didn’t expect from Monica Ali. Some people called this chick-lit and I would say that was correct. This story is about a woman-with-a-secret-history and her friends and a small town. The book didn’t treat Lydia as special, she was just a normal woman who had ended up in an unfortunate marriage with a crown-prince and had escaped from it.

A fun story which becomes rather exciting later on: will she be discovered? The whole story was set out well and was totally believable. A fun read, for royalty-lovers and non-lovers both.

Rating: 4 stars (out of 5)

Number of pages: 304 (my Dutch edition, Een ongekend verhaal)

First published: 2011

I got this: bought it at a publisher’s market

Genre: chick-lit, contemporary fiction

Extra: See my review of In the Kitchen.


About Leeswammes
I'm owner and editor at bookhelpline.com. In my free time, I read and review books on my two blogs, Leeswammes' Blog and De Boekblogger.

14 Responses to Quick Book Review: Untold Story by Monica Ali

  1. Charlie says:

    Interesting idea, and certainly the whole person living a new life is possible (though I don’t think people think that of Diana). In a way it sounds odd about the idea of her being discovered, because of the true life tale, but I guess it fits with other situations.

    • Leeswammes says:

      Charlie, indeed I don’t think anyone really believes Diana is still alive but that is maybe part of why this book works. You know it’s complete fiction. The author actually invents a different way of “dying” for her which makes it easier to disappear.

      On Tue, Feb 5, 2013 at 11:46 AM, Leeswammes' Blog

      • Charlie says:

        That’s a good point to consider – because it’s complete fiction. I suppose it takes any burden off being truthful or indeed controversial. You having said what you have, the genre and style makes sense 🙂

  2. curlygeek04 says:

    The subject of this book doesn’t really grab me, but the fact that it’s written by Monica Ali is a surprise. Diana would certainly be an interesting fictional character and I’m glad you found it well-written.

    • Leeswammes says:

      Curlygeek, yes, I think it is surprising that this is written by Monica Ali – it’s much more chick-littery than her other work. It was a fun read.

      On Tue, Feb 5, 2013 at 2:48 PM, Leeswammes' Blog

  3. What a fun concept for a story!!!!

  4. Isi says:

    I also like the idea of Lady Diana living in the USA! But it is impossible, somebody has to recognize her!! 😀
    Well, I didn’t know about the book, but I think I would like to read it!

  5. Lisa says:

    Well, here’s one where we have a difference of opinion! I did not like this book at all… but hearing why people like something other than what I care for is part of what makes the blogging world so interesting!

  6. Leslie says:

    This is a little different from what I normally read but I think I might like it.

  7. This sounds like a book I’d enjoy….I love fantasizing about different “endings” to true life stories. I’m going to add this one to my TBR.

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