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 ...more
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Giveaway dates: Jul 01 - Jul 31, 2019
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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 ...more
"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 ...more
I loved ...more
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 ...more
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 ...more
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 ...more
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 ...more
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 ...more
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 ...more
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 ...more
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.
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 ...more
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.....
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.
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.