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Relative Fortunes

(A Julia Kydd Novel #1)

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  578 ratings  ·  68 reviews
In 1920s New York, the price of a woman’s independence can be exorbitant—even fatal.

In 1924 Manhattan, women’s suffrage is old news. For sophisticated booklover Julia Kydd, life’s too short for politics. With her cropped hair and penchant for independent living, Julia wants only to launch her own new private press. But as a woman, Julia must fight for what’s hers—including
Paperback, 320 pages
Expected publication: August 1st 2019 by Lake Union Publishing (first published July 1st 2019)
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  • Relative Fortunes by Marlowe Benn
    Relative Fortunes (A Julia Kydd Novel Book 1)
    Release date: Aug 01, 2019
    In 1920s New York, the price of a woman’s independence can be exorbitant—even fatal.

    In 1924 Manhattan, women’s suffrage is old news. For sophisticated

    Format: Kindle book

    Giveaway ends in: a

    Availability: 100 copies available, 1320 people requesting

    Giveaway dates: Jul 01 - Jul 31, 2019

    Countries available: U.S.

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    Showing 1-30
    3.86  · 
    Rating details
     ·  578 ratings  ·  68 reviews

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    Dee Arr
    Jul 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    Author Marlowe Benn book, “Relative Fortunes,” is a breath of fresh air amid the countless books that hit the market on a daily basis. While I hesitated, deliberating between this and a few other Kindle First books, I eventually chose this as my second choice of the month. Happily, it is the better of the two reads.

    Ms. Benn displays a wonderful talent for stringing the right words together, and the novel is an endless stream of descriptive passages. Add to that the distinct characters that walk
    May 07, 2019 rated it liked it
    In Relative Fortunes, we meet Julia Kydd, a woman who is just shy of 25 but wise beyond her years. Julia encounters an acquaintance named Glennis who discovers her progressive sister has died..supposedly under some rather mysterious circumstances. Despite Julia's hesitation, she soon becomes engrossed in a very complicated plot. The book was very historically accurate; it was centered around the early 1920's when women had yet to vote. I felt as though the book was a bit plodding at times but ov ...more
    This started slow but ended strong. Full RTC 3.5 stars
    Jul 05, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
    One concept here struck me, only because it is a pet peeve of mine and I've never seen an author address it. I’m not even sure if the author is aware of what she highlighted in this passage. But it is the insistence of women for their rights without responsibility. I've seen it over and over again, and we see it here in Chapter 21.

    "I work to suit myself, not you or anyone else. That’s the glory of a private press. I can print what I like, how I like, without pandering to the tastes of oafish buy
    Jul 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    Set in Manhattan in a time of suffragists and prohibition, bootleggers and soap-box orators, Julia Kydd, a bibliophile and modern woman, finds herself in a situation that requires her to solve the mystery concerning the suspicious death of her friend's sister. As she delves into Naomi's life and death, she sees parallels between her situation in which her estranged brother controls her fortune, and Naomi's, whose brother forced her into dire circumstances by controlling her inheritance.

    I loved
    Jul 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
    3.5 stars rounded up to 4.

    Relative Fortunes is an intriguing murder mystery set in 1920’s New York with a feisty protagonist and a strong emphasis on the women’s movement - set shortly after women had won the vote but were still highly controlled by fathers, husbands, and brothers - and on the class divide of that time.

    It’s well written, descriptive and detailed, and although it does start quite slowly it soon picks up with many plot twists and turns. The history of book publishing woven throug
    D. Starr
    Jul 16, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Dysfunctional Families and Murder
    For mature audiences.

    No memorable harsh language
    Sexual situations are essential to the furthering of the plot.
    Interesting details about special edition books, bibliophiles, and book collectors.

    Plot: Julia has always expected to receive her share of her father's fortune, but due to vague language her 1/2 brother contests the will and may well end up getting it all. Meanwhile an acquaintance has apparently committed suicide - but the circumstances don't add up. Ju
    Jul 04, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    3.75 rounded up to 4

    I went into this book with fairly high hopes, and wasn't too disappointed.

    Julia is my favourite kind of post-Victorian era woman - confident, independant, and thoroughly unamused by any attempt to prevent her from doing what she wanted to do.

    Her brother, not so much. One problem I had throughout this book is that his character didn't fit with his actions, and in fact seemed completely in conflict with them. Even the 'revelation' at the end of the book didn't shed any light, d
    Jennifer Robb
    Jul 13, 2019 rated it did not like it
    Recommended to Jennifer by: Amazon First Reads
    I'm kind of sorry I wasted a First Reads pick on this book. I'll tolerate some things I don't like for the sake of a plot (murder in a mystery or thriller etc.) but I won't tolerate fortune telling, contacting spirits and the like--and that comes up in the first chapter of this book so I was done.

    The part I did read reminded me of when I used to read Grace Livingston Hill novels--in that I had to remember it was set at a time when women had fewer rights and opportunities than we do in today's wo
    Megan Byrd
    Jul 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
    Shelves: 2019-books-read
    Julia Kydd is weeks away from her 25th birthday where she's supposed to gain free access to her inheritance when she learns that her half-brother has challenged their father's will. While hanging out with an old school friend they learn her friend's oldest sister has died. Her friend Glennis thinks it was murder and recruits Julia to help figure out what really happened. Julia's brother makes a wager with her - if she can prove it was murder then he would remove his claim on her inheritance. Can ...more
    Jul 16, 2019 rated it liked it
    Shelves: read-in-2019
    Relative Fortunes was my Amazon First Reads pick for July, and overall I enjoyed it! The story line itself started out pretty slowly, but the intrigue and the mystery picked up significantly in the second half and I finished that bit off in a single evening. There were definitely some twists and turns that kept me guessing until the very end.

    I think the more interesting aspect of the book was actually the historical context and social backdrop. I learned a lot about women's rights in 1924 and so
    Gloria Lewis
    Jul 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    What a great book!

    This book had everything I like in a truly good story. There was so much excitement and surprising adventure in every chapter. Some of the characters might seem to be uninvolved in the early chapters but became villains or even guilty parties as the events unfolded. The innocent became guilty and those who who appeared guilty might not be. The last few chapters were packed with action and unexpected happenings. So many guilty people - or maybe not. This was a very complex famil
    Jul 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
    Shelves: mystery-read
    An interesting historical mystery that could almost be called a cozy mystery. It's much better written than your usual cozy though (listen, I love cozy mysteries. This is not a knock against cozy mysteries). I'm interested to see where the second book leads us. Not going to lie, all the talk about bookbinding went over my head, but I just skimmed those sections and went right back to the mystery (though it was fun to read about fonts). Sure, Julia is a bit privileged and thinks she knows it all, ...more
    Jul 10, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Intriguing and Enlightening

    This book was well written and actually forces the reader to use a dictionary and encyclopedia! What a treat in a sea of quickly written simplistic fluff!

    The characters are believable and sympathetic. To really understand how far women’s rights have come it takes a story like this based on facts to enlighten.

    Many of the familial themes are true today and are played out over and over in different ways there is always the truth of every situation.

    I enjoyed the journe
    Jul 12, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
    An enthralling, twisty mystery

    An enjoyable journey to the truth of the tale, and one worth persevering through the somewhat slow start. Julia Kydd is a bold and independent amateur sleuth, operating in an era in which women were still very much hampered by the male-dominated society when it came to pursuing their own lives. She pries open door after door to discover the truth behind the death of her friend's sister, with each discovery murkier and more disturbing than the last.
    Rural Sellers
    Jul 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    A lot of book publishing/binding/font/suffragette names were dropped through the course of the book. At first I dutifully looked them up but it got a little tiresome.

    The story itself was about as twisty as any I've read, so that was a plus. My big complaint (and it's actually a small one), is that there weren't a lot (any?) "nice" characters. Julia and Glennis were about it. You could sympathize with Phillip but he wasn't a sympathetic character. Certainly none of Naomi's family. I'm unsure if I
    Jul 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Slow going

    I found this book difficult to get through. The storyline really dragged for 3/4 of the way through, and it only picked up towards the end. That said, while there were a few moments where it didn't seem to peak my interest, I did end up liking it in the end. I'm generally a fan of historical fiction, but even I struggled with the tedious nature of the storyline of this book. I'd recommend it for those who are intrigued by the 1920's, but not necessarily to all historical fiction fans.
    Jul 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    Lovely first novel and the first of a new series about Julia Kydd, a young woman expecting to get her full inheritance when she turns 25, returns to New York from London to complete the paperwork but discovers her half brother is challenging her right to the fortune. The setting is the 1920s and women are agitating for equal rights. I loved the main characters but especially Julia. I hope the next book doesn't take the author as long to write as this one apparently did!
    mary ann newbold
    Wonderful suffragist history and a murder mystery, too. Engrossing book.

    As a mystery enthusiast, especially those set in the 1920's, I chose this book. However, to find that it includes so much women's history thrilled me. I minored in Women's History in college. (I earned a straight 4.0.) We still have to fight for everything we want, especially independence, although things have improved. Very well-written book.
    Jul 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    It took me a bit to warm up to the book, it really did, but as soon as I learned this was a first novel for the author, the pacing issues weren't an issue for me. Besides, they cleared up a bit by the end. And while I wished for deeper characterization, it just left me wanting to read book 2!

    The plot was engaging, and the characters are fun, though I definitely look forward to seeing the protagonist explored more thoroughly later on.

    A delightful read.
    joni Weiss
    Jul 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    Well written, with a view to the situation of women politically and socially

    I enjoyed this book much more than I expected to. Far from a silly romp, I found the characters interesting and the writing well done. The focus on the struggle for women's rights and the difficulties of gaining personal independence was very authentic and moving. An excellent first novel. I look forward to more from this author.
    Mary Byrnes
    Jul 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Good story

    This was a good story. A good mystery and fun to try and figure out. I found it a bit slow going at first. I liked the characters and the setting. The author's descriptions of settings and fashion were great.I love reading about fashion from any era. The mystery was interesting. I figured out a part of it but was surprised by the ending.I would recommend this book to all.
    Gaby Lee
    Jul 04, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    A really good read!

    Engaging characters & plot written in a style true to the era depicted. The sleuthing is very natural and believable and our main characters are very likable. It captures the sparkle of New York in the early twenties and the prevalent stark class distinctions. A very insightful and still relevant portrayal of the issues of gender equality nascent at that time but still unfolding today in America, never mind elsewhere in the world.
    Tiffany McElmeel
    Jul 10, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Give this book a try

    At the start of the book I wasn’t feeling engaged but since I had time stuck in a car and then on a plane (I purchased other books, last minute just in case I couldn’t keep reading this one) I kept reading. I’m not a quitter! I’m so glad I didn’t give up on this story. It had a slow start for me but then it got so good I couldn’t put it down. I look forward to more by this author in the future.
    Hana Fincher
    Jul 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    Absolutely Wonderful

    I adored this book. The twenties were evocatively bought to life and the twists in the story first rate. The Rankin family attitude and crisis called to mind An Inspector Calls with the protagonist Julia, playing Inspector Goole. The characterisation was wonderful, I cannot praise it enough. A joy to read. Thoroughly recommend. Cannot wait for another instalment of Julia Kydd and her delicious brother Philip.
    Jul 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
    Timely, especially with the ERA being discussed yet again it may be important to remember how some of our rights that we give very little thought to, took a tremendous amount of suffering, diligence, and even abuse to acquire.
    For a first book, remarkable indeed.

    A bit too much emphasis on font paper etc, but I have been married to a printer so I can see the appeal for a very small subset of readers.....
    Jul 16, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: fiction
    The writing is technically good for the most part, but the absurd plot twists are contrived and implausible. Worst of all, however, this author (in the afterword) praises Margaret Sanger, who was a card-carrying member of the KKK and who worked diligently to “exterminate” blacks from society. Why anyone would laud such a disgusting, racist person baffles me.
    Jul 17, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Relative Fortunes by Marlowe Finn was a Kindle First Read freebie. It was a fine first book about a fascinating decade. The Roaring Twenties were a time of frivolity & prosperity, but Finn does a great job of showing how few rights women had at that time. Her main character Julia Kydd is interesting and resourceful. I look forward to Book #2 next year!
    June Vreeland
    Jul 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Women's Rights

    I have read several novels lately concerning the progression of women's rights. In each book, the emphasis has been somewhat different. I thoroughly enjoyed this story of mystery and bantering characters in an era when women were not allowed to manage their own money. This is a story well told.
    Kate Turner
    Jul 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Good First Effort

    This is a good story, if a bit convoluted. The author certainly has a great depth of knowledge of book collecting lingo and early printing requirements. She also has a good command of archaic language and references. I will try her next Julia Judd book, even if only to see what Julia and her "brother" get into next.
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