**spoiler alert** It's a book review! Ya! I finally have a review i can post on here after seemingly so long. Anyways.... I love a good gender bender**spoiler alert** It's a book review! Ya! I finally have a review i can post on here after seemingly so long. Anyways.... I love a good gender bender and "The Education of Bet" certainly delivers. The book is set in an undisclosed period of time in the 1800's. My guess is sometime in the very late 870-1890's. I believe this because Bet mentions Dickens whom wrote the majority in the 1850-60's before dying in 1870. Also the fact that Bet's only complaint in dress is a corset. Therefore it's obvious the book is set after the hoop skirt trend of the 1860's. Trains haven't made itself to be known yet therefore i don't place it anytime in the late 1890's. But i'm getting off of the point here. The book centers around Bet and, as the excerpt clearly states, her adventures in an all male school parading as Will. The book is rather short at 186 pages and thus you really don't get info into her daily life or happenings at the Betterman's academy. The shortness of the whole thing is really my chief complaint. I really enjoyed reading the story and didn't want it to stop. It was like letting someone have a bite of chocolate cake and then whipping the rest out of their hands. I wanted to read more about Bet's adventures as Will and her attempts to keep her feelings about James secret. I also wanted to see more interaction between Bet, Mrs. Hunter, and Mrs. Smither's. The whole issue of women's rights was at the authors door step and the only she did was jump on it once, ring the door bell, and then run away. As my endless complaining clearly states i thought the book too short (Yep we've seen that tree before in this review).
Final rating: 4 1/2 stars. Great writing that left me wanting more. Unfortunately, the author didn't deliver the pizza....more
**spoiler alert** The first line of a review is always the hardest to write therefore i'm going to open it up with a fact: I finished and read the boo**spoiler alert** The first line of a review is always the hardest to write therefore i'm going to open it up with a fact: I finished and read the book mostly in the afternoon(s) and thus the title was quite appropriate. Nothing like a heatwave to make a favorite chair or spot of the bed seem like heaven with a book.
On another note i have to admit this was the first Hathaway book i read. I have the first three on my shelf having bought them at a book sale. After finishing this book i have to wonder why did i never pick up the other three because i loved it! I particularly liked Beatrix. I could totally see myself in her more so than any other heroine. Having six rabbits, 5 dogs, and nursed various baby wild bunnies to health i could easily identity with her on her animal obsession. I could also identify with her on her connection with nature. There is nothing more calming than being out in the woods.
Beatrice of course is described as being an odd ball in her neighborhood. I supposed in 1857 she would have been as well. In a time where girls were expected to sit proper, wear corsets and hop skirts, and be as feminine as possible she is oddly out of step. In stead she'd rather run around in her pants and boots. Training horses and helping hurt animals. Decidedly not womanish at all. It only makes since that the person she eventually marries should know her before seeing her and be a bit odd himself.
That brings me to the point of Christopher. He's portrayed as a tortured and hurt hero. He was a well to do dandy before getting sent to war, but while there he inevitably changed. It was only the letters from "Prudence" and his dog Albert that kept him sane and moving. Course Prudence being the stuck up bitch she was refused to write to him after his initial letter telling about the war. Therefore unknown to Christopher he was receiving letters from Beatrice and not Prudence. Christopher was a great hero, but for me he was overshadowed by Beatrice. If only he was slightly more tortured or haunted. Mean. I know. lol I can't help it. I like my men tortured and having some EMO moments. Christopher didn't experience enough of them. Though credit where credit is due Christopher wasn't entirely "healed" at the end and that gave his illness a more realistic approach.
The two had a really cute romance and i rather liked the interaction. They each pushed and pulled at each other which created great dialog and friction. It also gave some depth to their relationship. You didn't feel like things were going too fast, nor that they were progressing too slow. The relationship went perfectly. Points also to Lisa for prolonging their relationship into a couple of months. That fact makes it even more believable.
Final grade: 5 stars. Positively brilliant in almost every way. Only few small nit picks and complaints. I do hope that Mark Barrett and Aubrey get a book. ^^