The Second Marriage by Gill Paul | Blog Tour Review #TheSecondMarriage

Published by Avon
Available in ebook and paperback (24 August 2020)
464 pages
Source: Purchased copy


When her first marriage ends in tragedy, Jackie Kennedy fears she’ll never love again. But all that changes when she encounters…
Successful and charming, Ari Onassis is a man who promises her the world. Yet soon after they marry, Jackie learns that his heart also belongs to another…
A beautiful, famed singer, Maria Callas is in love with Jackie’s new husband – and she isn’t going to give up.

Little by little, Jackie and Maria’s lives begin to tangle in a dangerous web of secrets, scandal and lies. But with both women determined to make Ari theirs alone, the stakes are high. How far will they go for true love?

The Second Marriage is published in the US as Jackie and Maria


My thanks to Anne Cater of Random Things Tours for the place on the tour. I love Gill Paul’s books, some of which have been reviewed on this blog. The Second Marriage has been one of my most anticipated reads and I ordered my paperback copy months ago. As soon as it arrived on publication day I dived in, I couldn’t wait.

As with previous books, fact is woven with fiction to produce a fascinating tale featuring two famous women, opera singer Maria Callas and former First Lady Jackie Kennedy and tells the story of their romantic entanglement with Greek shipping tycoon Aristotle Onassis. Whilst Jackie’s history with the Kennedys is well documented – I knew very little about Maria Callas. This story shines a light on Maria’s 9 year romance/affair with Onassis. It was so hard not to feel sympathy for Maria. She genuinely loved him and he treated her appallingly. Whereas it seems that Jackie, following the death of President Kennedy was so distraught and scared that her decision to marry him was more based on the need for safety and protection and, of course he was extremely rich!

The timeframe covers the period from 1957 to 1977 and I felt that it had been very well researched. It’s rich with detail and historical facts and many famous names feature throughout the story including Winston Churchill and Marilyn Monroe. The tragic events of November 1963 in Dallas are seen from Jackie’s perspective together with the aftermath of grief and the peace that eluded her unless she drank herself to sleep.

From the hand that Maria was dealt by having such an awful mother who made her feel so inadequate and betrayed her by telling lies about her to the press, it’s no surprise that this led to insecurities which affected her throughout her life. Jackie too had a difficult relationship with a mother who believed that money was everything. The two women were so alike in some ways – including both loving men who seemed incapable of remaining faithful.

The author freely admits at the back of the book that this is not a historical retelling of events – this may be her interpretation but the dialogue and narrative are so beautifully written whilst well known documented facts intertwine seamlessly with fiction. There is so much in this story of glamour, love, loss and betrayal to savour and enjoy. I loved it.

If you want to read this gorgeous book for yourself, the Kindle version is available for download for just 99p on Amazon UK at the time of this post.


Gill Paul’s historical novels have reached the top of the USA Today, Toronto Globe & Mail and kindle charts, and been translated into twenty languages.

They include THE SECOND MARRIAGE (titled JACKIE AND MARIA in the US), two bestselling novels about the Romanovs – THE SECRET WIFE and THE LOST DAUGHTER – as well as WOMEN AND CHILDREN FIRST, which was shortlisted for the 2013 RNA Epic Novel of the Year award, NO PLACE FOR A LADY, shortlisted for a Love Stories award, and ANOTHER WOMAN’S HUSBAND, about links you might not have suspected between Wallis Simpson and Princess Diana.

Gill also writes historical non-fiction, including A HISTORY OF MEDICINE IN 50 OBJECTS, and she speaks at libraries and literary festivals on subjects ranging from the Titanic to the Romanovs.

Gill lives in London, where she is working on her tenth novel, and she swims daily in an outdoor pond.

Author Links:
Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

Book Links:
Amazon UK | Amazon US | Waterstones | Hive

Maria Callas singing ‘Casta Diva’ – referred to in the book


4 thoughts on “The Second Marriage by Gill Paul | Blog Tour Review #TheSecondMarriage”

  • Unfortunately, this was FAR too much fiction for my taste, and it badly contradicted with fact, so that I got so frustrated with it, I couldn’t finish reading it. I think I know too much about these women, and I would have preferred if she hadn’t used their real names, and only invented other people (she could keep the opera singer and the shipping magnate, and just change Jackie to the wife of a Senator or Governor who is killed), and then loosely based that story on these three. We would have understood who she was essentially talking about, and thereby forgiven her all the glaring inaccuracies.

    • Ah well, hopefully you will enjoy the next book more. I knew nothing about Maria and not so much about Jackie so just enjoyed it for what it was.

I do love to read any comments 😊

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.