Stephanie Dray's Reviews > Exit the Actress

Exit the Actress by Priya Parmar
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's review
Jan 11, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: historical-fiction, restoration-england, historical-women-s-fiction
Read on December 27, 2011

This was a thoroughly entertaining journey through Restoration England--an experience akin to thumbing through a scrap book. The story is told in bits and pieces. Letters, diary entries, recipes, pamphlets, invitations and other tidbits of the time period are woven together to make a lovely tapestry of the time period. The downside to this eclecticism, however, is that it lacked the strong storytelling coherence of a straightforward narrative.

I enjoyed this read as a thought experiment, as something new and different from a very talented author, but I'm not eager to repeat the experience. I'm left craving more intimacy with Nell Gwynn, something deeper of the woman and less of an overview of the time period. I look forward to seeing what Ms. Parmar can do using a more traditional style of storytelling, because she does her homework and she's got style.

If you're tired of the usual first person enumerative drudgery of some women's historical fiction, though, this is the book for you.

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