In Victorian London, scandal can so easily ruin your life. And Mirabel and her husband have a very big secret to hide! Dealing with a creepy newpaper reporter’s sudden interest in Mirabel and her abandoned family’s sudden reappearance in her life, Mirabel is an awesome, independent, heroine who refuses to conform to societal norms. She’s also an artist, with an artist’s fascinating observations on life and the meaning of art.
I know I said this already, but I’ll say it again for effect: I loved this book. What really sold it for me was the writing style, which reminded me of The House of Mirth or something by Austen. I felt like we were reading Mirabel’s memoirs, since it could have been written by someone in her time period, which made her feel more real. I also particularly enjoyed her musings on art and life. Again, the thoughtfulness added depth which made her feel like a real person. And while Mirabel was by far my favorite part of the book, a lot of the secondary characters were well fleshed out too. We discover more about their interests and their flaws with Mirabel, leading to several very well delivered subplots which played nicely with the main plot.
The slow revelation of Mirabel’s past was also done very well. It made the book a little bit of a mystery and kept me turning pages quickly! Mirabel has a highly unusual history, which made her later breaking of societal conventions and the decisive action she took to solve her own problems feel quite in character. My only problem with the book was a few minor typos and since my copy was clearly labeled as an ARC, I’m not sure that even counts. The writing was superb at showing situations instead of telling. The period feel of the writing rocked my socks. And I just can’t resist a great female protagonist. Highly recommended!
This review first published on Doing Dewey