Publisher: Viking Books (2014)
Hardcover (448 pages)
Reading Challenges: Read 2015
Welcome to the world of the fabulously wealthy in London, 1909, where dresses and houses are overwhelmingly opulent, social class means everything, and women are taught to be nothing more than wives and mothers. Into this world comes seventeen-year-old Victoria Darling, who wants only to be an artist—a nearly impossible dream for a girl.
After Vicky poses nude for her illicit art class, she is expelled from her French finishing school. Shamed and scandalized, her parents try to marry her off to the wealthy Edmund Carrick-Humphrey. But Vicky has other things on her mind: her clandestine application to the Royal College of Art; her participation in the suffragette movement; and her growing attraction to a working-class boy who may be her muse—or may be the love of her life. As the world of debutante balls, corsets, and high society obligations closes in around her, Vicky must figure out: just how much is she willing to sacrifice to pursue her dreams?
This book is set in London in 1909. The fight for women’s rights is on with suffragettes protesting outside Parliament and then being arrested.
It is into this setting that Victoria finds herself when she returns from France. She is forbidden from involving herself with the suffragettes as she needs to recover her reputation after what happened in France.
Victoria is told her dream of becoming an artist is impossible and impractical. She is told she needs to marry well and quickly to patch up the scandal. She is told that women of her class are only to be wives and mothers.
Victoria doesn’t want any of that. She only wants to be an artist and she will find away. She wants more from life than she can get. She is modern where her parents are traditional. To them, she is just a scandal waiting to happen.
I enjoyed this book quite a lot. It is different from what I have been reading. Historical fiction is always interesting to me and this was a time period that I haven’t read a lot about. If you like historical fiction, especially about the English, you should take a look at this book.
- You Read How Many Books? Reading Challenge