This is my eighteenth review for the BBC! :)
Again, this is another book I won on the fabulous historical fiction blog called The Hisory Girls (which can be found here!) so thank you to all at The History Girls, Marie-Louise Jensen and her publishers the chance to read this book, I am extremely grateful, so thank you! Here is my review.
This is what the front cover of the book looks like:
Now, I really like this cover, perhaps it is even the best cover I have seen on a historical novel in a while. Yes, really! I like it because of the simplicity of it, that so little, really, can show so much and intrigue me in such a way that I read this so quickly it even surprised me. The colours are simple yet elegant, which is perfect for the book, the pattern in the background also shows elegance and is equally perfect, and the lighting used! The clarity of the picture! The detail! I know you can't see it here, but - Oh, its amazing. Everything sets of the right atmosphere and the girl they used on the front is beautiful and perfect for this cover. So yes, that is why I love it.
The story itself is about young Sophia, a rich girl in Georgian times - whose favourite past-times are reading plays, shooting , managing her fathers estate and riding, who is currently living with her cousin Jack in her fathers estate. Everything is well and Sophia is happy for probably the first time in her life, away from the horror of her father and free to do as she pleases - that is, until her terribly cruel father returns suddenly for his stay in the West Indies, with her horrid Aunt Amelia in tow, and he is far from happy.
Punished for firing the governess her father had hired to look after them both and disobeying his orders, Jack is sent away to serve in the army and Sophia is forced to watch her precious poetry's and plays burned the ashes in front of her eyes, leave her home and move the Bath, the London of that time - full of the elegant and rich of Georgian society, with one aim; she must find a husband and become a real lady of wealth, elegant and charming - or else.
Unhappy with being forced to do something like this, something that she would rather die than do - the complete in control over her life she currently has, the stifling dresses she now has to wear, the only things she has to do being attending balls, playing cards, reading religious sermons and sewing - Sophia vows to rebel from her father grasp - whatever the cost.
Turing to Highway Robbery as a way to earn money and get back the sense adventure and danger she always craves, Sophia feels that life is almost bearable - that is, until a gentleman shows a interest in her and she is now at risk of being unmasked - will he find out her secret?
I really liked this book. I'm completely honest in saying that is not my usual read, even though I am a huge fan of historical fiction, I must admit that I am not usually a fan of Georgian novels. That is, until I read this. Jensen's flow with words swept me away as soon as I read the first sentence; it was phenomenal - a book has not gripped me that much in a long while. It is safe to say I was completely blown away - I was overjoyed at the historical accuracy, too.
Another thing that I really liked about this book is the such passionate way that Jensen wrote Sophia. It was absolutely beautiful and a joy to read, because of this she seemed like such a believable character and her spirit really came to life because of this - its really obvious that Jensen really cares for her characters, but not only that, understood them as well.
This is a brilliant skill for any writer to have, and has really made me respect her as one, so much so that I will try my hardest to read the rest of her works.
My favourite character from this book would have to be Sophia, not only because of the reasons I have mentioned above (her spirit and the fact that she is really believable) but because of the fact that she is a fabulous female heroine. Not only does she have extreme determination, but she also shows she is extremely brave and fearless in the eyes of danger (no spoilers - but the way she acts when she has to endure the torture her father puts her through - extremely brave.) So that is why I love her - she is a extremely real, loyal and brave character, and I really look up to her in that respect. She is truly a outstanding character and really well written by Jensen.
So if you'd like to read a Georgian historical fiction book full of adventure, elegance, history, fantastc characters, a wonderful plot (and deeply satisfying ending - everything was tied up great) and one magically written to boot - than this is the one for you! I would give it a age rating of 12+ and a personal rating of 9/10.
Thanks for reading!
Sorry if there are any grammar mistakes, bad spelling ect. Please let me know in a comment so I can fix it! and comments & follows are hugs<3 This is all my opinion. Please no negative comments because of my opinion expressed in these reviews. Thankyou! xoxox