Meghan Markle’s first book failed to impress readers and fell flat on its release, selling just 3,212 copies in its first week, reported The Sun.
The Duchess of Sussex’s debut literary venture titled The Bench, a 40-page ode to the relationship between a father and son – inspired by her husband Prince Harry and their son Archie, missed out on making it to UK’s top 50 best-sellers.
It did, however, manage to cinch the top spot for the best-selling picture book; The Bench features watercolor drawings by the Caldecott-winning illustrator Christian Robinson.
The book has received thoroughly mixed reviews from critics, with The Evening Standard’s Emily Phillips calling it “soothing” and that her child loved the book being read to her.
Contrary to Phillips’ review, the Daily Express quoted New Statesman writer Sophie McBain, “It is mind-boggling how bad the book is. There is no story, just a series of platitudes about paternal love that at best might appeal to a highly emotional father, insecure in his new role.”
The Bench was met with plagiarism accusations just days after Meghan Markle announced the release of the book.
Twitterati caught onto remarkable similarities between Maghan Markle’s work and another illustrated children’s book titled The Boy on the Bench by Corrinne Averiss and Gabriel Alborozo, originally published in 2018.
“Before you run out and waste money on the book by Harry’s wife, read The Boy on the Bench by Corrinne Averiss and Gabriel Alborozo. The original,” a user tweeted.
The allegations were swiftly dismissed by the original author of the aforementioned book, Corrinne Averiss who said, “Reading the description and the published excerpt of the Duchess’s new book, this is not the same story or the same theme as The Boy on the Bench. I don’t see any similarities.”