What a delight this book was! It's set in the 1920s and the main character is a witty flapper, Phryne Fisher. As a proper flapper she is provocative and openly sexual, witty, fun to follow around, she carries a small gun, and she knows how to drive a sports car. There are some over the top things, like the fact she was taught how to use a knife by an Apache (Parisian gang) and a gigolo taught her tango. But she is definitely not a flat, typified flapper character. The author gave her depth with little things throughout the whole book. I have to say, I adore her!
Even though the author spends quite some time on describing her clothes and her love adventures, the story isn't shallow and these things actually help to create strong and independent female character. The book also shows variety of women, some who are in quite undesirable situation, all trying to live a happy and fulfilling life in this (still) very patriarchal world. And Phryne's good friend is a female doctor, called suffragette by other characters, whose inspiration is Dr Garrett Anderson.
Despite the length (175 pages) of the book even other characters are quite well developed. I especially like Bert and Cec, though their red political orientation isn't something I'm crazy about.
All in all, it was a fun and light read with some serious stuff on the background. I already bought other four books in the series. :)...more
This is a historical fiction and the author did a great research, but as she herself admitted, there were times when the plot was more important. But it didn't really bother me, because otherwise it was a really enjoyable and fun read.
The strongest aspect of this book are the characters, especially the three main ones, and their interactions with each other. I love how Rowena, Victoria, and Prudence are all very intelligent, well read, and kind-hearted young women, but they are also quite flawed. Rowena is a bit of a passive coward who doesn't like conflicts. Victoria is very passionate which sometimes makes her act in a hurry without thinking things through first. And Prudence is quite stubborn and proud. But despite all of this, I really liked them all, probably because often I could understand why they did what they did.
These three young women find themselves in an undesirable situation and instead of dealing with it together, they all try it by themselves. And that of course leads to loads of interesting situations. The story itself is at times predictable, but there are some unexpected twists as well.
As the synopsis says, Downton Abbey fans will enjoy this. It is an easy and fun read with very believable characters....more
I hadn't read any books by this author when I spotted Votes for Vixens. But I was instantly intrigued because of the word vixens in the title, and because of the cover. The synopsis sounded great as well. So I bought an e-copy for my Kindle and started reading immediately. And I wasn't disappointed.:)
Even though this book is quite short, Chevrestt managed to flesh out most of the characters well, which is impressive. I also like how the various emotions and things like hopelessness, fear, numbness, tenderness, hope, and love were captured nicely and felt very real. I really enjoyed this story, even though there were some pretty painful moments. I also appreciated the informations about suffragettes that were nicely woven into the story.
Votes for Vixens is a story of a woman and her long and distressful path to happiness told on the background of times when the fate of all women was changing....more
This was an easy and fun read, but very sophisticated and wrapped up in an alluring perfume. It's a long time since I enjoyed a contemporary fiction so much.
The main character is Jac L'Etoile, but the book follows many other people from different parts of the world and also from different times of our history. It might sound scary at first, but don't worry. The author managed to connect all the story lines into one big picture. It is very well structured and all the pieces fit together nicely in the end.
This is supposed to be more of a fun read, but it touches big themes. There are parts about Tibet and the Chinese occupation. It makes you realize (again) how sad it is to see someone who is systematically destroying other people and their culture just because of their beliefs. Nothing new for the human race though. It also touches spirituality and the possibility of reincarnation. Reincarnation is actually the main theme of this book, which I personally like, as I believe in it. And basically everything mentioned in this book is in one way or another close to my interests and/or beliefs. Beside reincarnation there's a lot of mythology (Greek and Egyptian), some history, C. G. Jung, philosophy, and of course the artisan perfumery. But the beauty of this book is that you don't have to believe in anything, or be really into the things it talks about in order to enjoy it. You can read it just as a very entertaining mystery and you'll be happy.
The romance aspect of this book was amazing. I have very often problems to enjoy the romance part in many books for various reasons. But here the intimacy is portrayed so well. It is the intimacy between two people who belong together, the intimacy that is so strong and pure that it goes through all the layers of your being. Well, that blew my mind. This is how I imagine love, nothing superficial, but raw and painful emotions that capture you completely, body and soul. Yeah, I love that!
Different perfumes, incenses, and smells are intertwined throughout the whole book, and I feel like the writing is soaked with the smells as well. It kind of takes you into a different reality full of scents that wake up different emotions. And even though you are in a dreamy state, it makes you see things more clearly.
All in all this was very enjoyable mystery romance flavoured with spirituality and history. Both thumbs up! :)...more
Usually when there is a historical fiction concerning Russia, it's about the Romanovs and Bolshevik Revolution, and the USSR times. So when I spotted this book, I thought it was a nice change to see a book that deals with another part of Russian history. For someone like me who loves folklore, this was really enjoyable read. Throughout the whole book all the Russian pagan beliefs were captured nicely, and so was the way people managed to be pagans and Christians at the same time. Some of the folklore figures also played important role in the story plot. There were also some mentions of the Mongolian beliefs. I loved that! When it comes to the characters, Yaroslava was the only really complex one. Others were there mainly to support her, or at least that's how I see it. But that's all right, it's her story after all. She was very likable, from the very first page I felt connected to her. She was a sensitive, yet strong, and intelligent character. I enjoyed the fact the author wasn't afraid to show some blood and dying. It helped a lot to portray that time. There are two things I would change about this book. First, the cover. I find it quite nice, because it screams "Russian folklore", but I don't think it would appeal to many readers. Second, the Russian words in italic. There were far too many. I would find English equivalents for some of them, to make it less confusing for English readers. All in all this was amazing and entertaining tale! I'd love to read something else by this author....more