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A Kiss from Mr Fitzgerald
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Previous BOMs - Authors; I - L > A Kiss from Mr Fitzgerald, by Natasha Lester, Starts 15 August, 2016

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message 1: by Moderators of NBRC, Madam Hooch (last edited Jun 28, 2016 10:40PM) (new)

Moderators of NBRC | 25547 comments

Described as “Captivating, romantic and tragic”, A Kiss from Mr Fitzgerald follows a young woman ahead of her time amid the fragile hearts and glamour of Jazz Age New York.

Synopsis:
It’s 1922 in the Manhattan of gin, jazz and prosperity. Women wear makeup and hitched hemlines – and enjoy a new freedom to vote and work. Not so Evelyn Lockhart, forbidden from pursuing her passion: to become one of the first female doctors.

Chasing her dream will mean turning her back on the only life she knows: her competitive sister, Viola; her conservative parents; and the childhood best friend she is expected to marry, Charlie.

And if Evie does fight Columbia University’s medical school for acceptance, how will she support herself? So when there’s a casting call for the infamous late-night Ziegfeld Follies on Broadway, will Evie find the nerve to audition? And if she does, what will it mean for her fledgling relationship with Upper East Side banker Thomas Whitman, a man Evie thinks she could fall in love with, if only she lived a life less scandalous?

Review from our friend and former mod Renee!

“It's been weeks since I finished this and I still can't find all the words.
I'd been waiting for this book to come out since the middle of last year, since I discovered the inspirational Natasha Lester's blog and maybe, perhaps, began to slightly stalk her online ... Natasha has heaps of writing advice to share and I couldn't wait to see how she applied it all in her historical fiction novel.
Wow.
Natasha's writing is a bridge between literary and commercial fiction. There is romance, mystery, medical drama, historical fiction, costumes, dancing, parties, study, life and death. Natasha paints such a vivid picture of life in New York during the 1920's. I felt like I was there, walking alongside Evie, sipping champagne during the prohibition and occasionally breaking into the charleston. I loved Evie's spunk and determination. Even though Evie has blond hair, the girl on the cover captures her essence perfectly (and the cover is so pretty).
This book is the bee's knees, the cat's pyjamas and the bandicoot's bellybutton! It's a book I found myself live tweeting as I was reading (that's the polite way to say twitter stalking).
I listened to the audiobook edition. The narrator was fabulous. Kelly Burke spoke clearly and at a good pace, bringing each character to life”


About the author



Natasha Lester
It took me a while to do something about the dream I’d always had of being a writer. But when I finally quit my job as a Brand Manager for Maybelline Cosmetics and went back to uni to study creative writing, lots of things happened which made me believe I’d taken the right step. The first piece of writing I ever sent off to a journal for publication - a poem - was accepted. It was the best $100 I’d ever earned. This is easy, I remember thinking!

Of course, it wasn’t always that easy. But I was lucky enough to win the TAG Hungerford Award for Fiction and thus receive a publishing contract for my first book, What is Left Over, After. My second book, If I Should Lose You, was published in 2012.

In between all that, I’ve had three children. Nowadays I write while the kids are sleeping, which is, of course, never for long enough.



message 2: by Moderators of NBRC, Madam Hooch (last edited Aug 15, 2016 03:56AM) (new)

Moderators of NBRC | 25547 comments Chapter Breakdown



Date Chapters PPQDs

15 Aug Part One (Chapters 1-10)

17 Aug Part Two (Chapters 11-24)

19 Aug Part Three (Chapters 25-end)





message 3: by Moderators of NBRC, Madam Hooch (new)

Moderators of NBRC | 25547 comments r


message 4: by Moderators of NBRC, Madam Hooch (last edited Aug 08, 2016 03:38AM) (new)

Moderators of NBRC | 25547 comments Tourmaline Coin Bookless Ways - Special Event ~ Tourmaline Coin Tourmaline Coin

How to Earn:
Tourmaline Coin 1 Tourmaline coin for participating in books discussion
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message 5: by Moderators of NBRC, Madam Hooch (last edited Aug 14, 2016 03:26PM) (new)

Moderators of NBRC | 25547 comments Natasha Lester has generously donated 4 audiobook copies of her latest novel A Kiss from Mr Fitzgerald! Narrated by the lovely Kelly Burke, you can listen to a sample at audible here.

Congrats to our winners Imke, Kerri, Chava and Alexa!


message 6: by Moderators of NBRC, Madam Hooch (new)

Moderators of NBRC | 25547 comments Book breakdown has been posted. As the book is in three parts, we will keep discussion questions to those three parts to make it easier for those reading via audio! Therefore there are 2 days for each part, except part 3 which is much smaller and should be readable in a day :)


Kerri (geni91782) | 726 comments I'm exciting to dig into this book :)


message 8: by Moderators of NBRC, Madam Hooch (new)

Moderators of NBRC | 25547 comments megan ••book slayer•• wrote: "Will we be writing DQ's for this one?"

Yes, we will have DQs for each part. It may also help to bring up some good Qs to ask the author :)


Alexa Carver (alexacarver) | 181 comments I'm so excited to start this tomorrow! Thanks, Natasha Lester, for my copy!


message 10: by Karen ⊰✿, Fiction Aficianado (last edited Aug 15, 2016 03:55AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Karen ⊰✿ | 11902 comments August 15
Comments and Questions
Part One (chapters 1-10)

1. I *loved* the meeting with Thomas in the tree and how he gave Evie the seed of an idea about being a Doctor. What are your feelings towards Thomas?

2. Mrs Whitman seems quite "enlightened" for the time seeing that she lent her dowry to her husband to set up the bank ; and she is also quite the romantic! Do you think she will continue to play a vital role for Evie?

3. So guesses on baby Mary's father? My money was originally on Charlie, but then I started wondering if it is Evie's father :o

4. Thoughts on Viola? She seems to have had her sights on Charlie. Would they make a good match?

5. Your initial impressions of the book? The writing style / historical references / language used?



message 11: by Imke (new) - rated it 5 stars

Imke (immie75) | 1410 comments August 15 Comments and Questions Part One (chapters 1-10)

1. I *loved* the meeting with Thomas in the tree and how he gave Evie the seed of an idea about being a Doctor. What are your feelings towards Thomas?
That scene is one of my favorites so far. Not only because it shows Evie her ambitions, but also that she has misjudged the brothers. I like Thomas very much, he works hard and doesn't take his wealth for granted. I also like that he sees Evie as a person with feelings and ambitions.

2. Mrs Whitman seems quite "enlightened" for the time seeing that she lent her dowry to her husband to set up the bank ; and she is also quite the romantic! Do you think she will continue to play a vital role for Evie?
I think Mrs Whitman will play a large role in Evie's life. You can see where Thomas gets his qualities from.

3. So guesses on baby Mary's father? My money was originally on Charlie, but then I started wondering if it is Evie's father :o
I'm guessing it is Charlie, because of his assault on Evie. He is a despicable person.

4. Thoughts on Viola? She seems to have had her sights on Charlie. Would they make a good match?
They deserve each other, but I think Viola is very much a product of her upbringing. I don't like her very much.

5. Your initial impressions of the book? The writing style / historical references / language used?
I love this book so far. The historical references are great and that she used the language/slang of that time is great. The 1920's are one of my favorite times to read about and the way the author described the fashion and social events makes me feel like I'm there with Evie.


Kerri (geni91782) | 726 comments August 15
Comments and Questions
Part One (chapters 1-10)

1. I *loved* the meeting with Thomas in the tree and how he gave Evie the seed of an idea about being a Doctor. What are your feelings towards Thomas?


I like Thomas a lot. I feel like he's trying so hard to be the man his father expects him to be (and doing rather well), but he has a rebellious side, just like Evie. It's just that he's a man and is more free than she is to express it and less likely to face much harm when he does. Still, he doesn't try to impose other peoples' ideals on Evie like everyone else seems to be doing in this book. For that, he is awesome.

2. Mrs Whitman seems quite "enlightened" for the time seeing that she lent her dowry to her husband to set up the bank ; and she is also quite the romantic! Do you think she will continue to play a vital role for Evie?

Ahh, one of my favorite characters! I do think she will still play a vital role for Evie. I think she's basically taken over for her mother, who is horrible. Just. Horrible. I think she'll be there for, at least, moral support, if not more concrete support.

3. So guesses on baby Mary's father? My money was originally on Charlie, but then I started wondering if it is Evie's father :o

I still think it's Charlie, but I don't think Charlie is the gentleman that sent the baby to New York and keeps showing up at the orphanage. I would guess Thomas (since he seems to try and take care of his idiot brother a lot), but he's in London right now. The gentleman visiting could be Mr. Whitman... trying to take care of his youngest son's child. I'm still pretty convinced Charlie is the dad, though.

4. Thoughts on Viola? She seems to have had her sights on Charlie. Would they make a good match?

Ugh, Viola... I knew she had a thing for Charlie, which is fine. Evie didn't want him, anyways. But the way she treated her sister for some gross man is just inexcusable. I thought Viola was just the quiet sister, but she's turned into a real... witch *coughs* I don't think Viola is going to be very happy with her choice, in the long run. Charlie certainly won't be happy. That marriage is doomed.

5. Your initial impressions of the book? The writing style / historical references / language used?

I've fallen for this book quite rapidly. It's great! And the audiobook version is just amazing! I don't know who picked the narrator, but she is fantastic. I really like the style and the language. It makes me want to slip into a flapper dress and go party with Evie and Lil at Chumley's :)


message 13: by Karen ⊰✿, Fiction Aficianado (last edited Aug 17, 2016 08:54PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Karen ⊰✿ | 11902 comments August 17
Comments and Questions
Part Two (chapters 11-24)

6. Two years have passed and the opening line of this part really surprised me! Have you enjoyed the development of Evie's character?

7. Four births and only two live babies. This was such a reminder to me of how lucky I am to live nowadays or I probably would have been another statistic (both my kids were born via c-section). I got quite teary with the births described here. Your thoughts?

8. Lovely romance with Lil and Leo! Have you ever played matchmaker?

9. Given all of the obstacles, do you agree with Evie's choice to be a Doctor?

10. I was quite disappointed with Evie going away with Tom seeing how she has watched so many "fallen" women herself. The big reveal at the end of this section seemed a bit inevitable. Your thoughts?

11. So we now know Mary's parentage! If I was Evie I would take the father's letter and go and talk to her mother and have them adopt Mary. But perhaps those are just modern sensibilities. Do you think it is at all possible for Evie to be able to be a single mother of two in this time period?

12. Predictions for the end?



message 14: by Imke (new) - rated it 5 stars

Imke (immie75) | 1410 comments August 17 Comments and Questions
Part Two (chapters 11-24)


6. Two years have passed and the opening line of this part really surprised me! Have you enjoyed the development of Evie's character?
Yes, I enjoyed it very much. We followed Evie's struggles with her supervisors and fellow students which I think are still here in some way especially in male dominated professions. I also felt the biggest part of Evie's story line felt realistic.

7. Four births and only two live babies. This was such a reminder to me of how lucky I am to live nowadays or I probably would have been another statistic (both my kids were born via c-section). I got quite teary with the births described here. Your thoughts?
I really liked the realism and that the different births were described in detail. Also Evie's feelings and thought process over next steps during the births. What gripped me the most was the birth when she was on ambulance duty and she had to perform a procedure that she should not have had to do and the sorrow she had to go through was very well written.

8. Lovely romance with Lil and Leo! Have you ever played matchmaker?
I haven't. Lil and Leo are great characters, I was hoping they would get together.

9. Given all of the obstacles, do you agree with Evie's choice to be a Doctor?
Yes, her choice completely fit her spirit and character. I liked that the author showed that Evie also had her doubts about her choice to become a doctor.

10. I was quite disappointed with Evie going away with Tom seeing how she has watched so many "fallen" women herself. The big reveal at the end of this section seemed a bit inevitable. Your thoughts?
I was expecting the big reveal, things went to "smoothly" when Evie and Thomas found each other.
11. So we now know Mary's parentage! If I was Evie I would take the father's letter and go and talk to her mother and have them adopt Mary. But perhaps those are just modern sensibilities. Do you think it is at all possible for Evie to be able to be a single mother of two in this time period?
I think it is possible to be a single parent at that time, many women were then with there husbands working all the time or away for jobs. I think the only problem is the actual adopting of Mary.

12. Predictions for the end?
I have finished so will not comment.


message 15: by Imke (new) - rated it 5 stars

Imke (immie75) | 1410 comments Will the author Q and A be in this thread or will you make a new one for that?


Kerri (geni91782) | 726 comments August 17
Comments and Questions
Part Two (chapters 11-24)

6. Two years have passed and the opening line of this part really surprised me! Have you enjoyed the development of Evie's character?


Yes! She's really holding her own and I love it. I mean, she's still not getting the treatment she deserves and most of the time she has to hold her tongue, but when she doesn't, it's the best. It's obviously to see, though she still doubts herself sometimes, that she has way more confidence than when the story began.

7. Four births and only two live babies. This was such a reminder to me of how lucky I am to live nowadays or I probably would have been another statistic (both my kids were born via c-section). I got quite teary with the births described here. Your thoughts?

Even though Evie is super hard on herself with both the deaths (well... all three including the one mother), I saw it as just a product of their time. Evie did everything she reasonably could in both situations. Sure, she could have refused to let that idiot doctor use the forceps and done it herself, but who's to say that would have helped? Still, I think it's good that Evie took those losses so hard. That's what a doctor, in my mind, is supposed to be like. They are supposed to be compassionate and the loss of any patient should hurt like hell. Those scenes made me really thankful to be a mother in this day and age.

8. Lovely romance with Lil and Leo! Have you ever played matchmaker?

I have not, lol. I've had friends come to me for advice with relationships, but I've never actually set two people up.

9. Given all of the obstacles, do you agree with Evie's choice to be a Doctor?

Hell yeah! She's obviously smart (top of her class, boom) and has the compassion and drive. And the need for female doctors, especially in obstetrics, is very apparent. It just makes sense.

10. I was quite disappointed with Evie going away with Tom seeing how she has watched so many "fallen" women herself. The big reveal at the end of this section seemed a bit inevitable. Your thoughts?

I think she and Tommy were being safe (she mentioned using rubbers) but it did seem kind of reckless, especially in her position. She already had a feeling she wasn't good enough for him, considering her chosen profession and side job, and then you're going to add a possible illegitimate child? That being said, if in her shoes, I probably would have done the same thing. Love can blind you to stuff like consequences.

11. So we now know Mary's parentage! If I was Evie I would take the father's letter and go and talk to her mother and have them adopt Mary. But perhaps those are just modern sensibilities. Do you think it is at all possible for Evie to be able to be a single mother of two in this time period?

Evie couldn't even convince her parents that medical school was doable for her. There's no way she'd be able to convince them to adopt Mary. They would probably just disown her again. It's going to be hard for Evie to be a single mom of two. It's hard these days and the world is far more enlightened than it was back then. As a doctor, I think money won't be the complete issue, but the stigma is going to be a bear.

12. Predictions for the end?

I don't see Tommy giving up on Evie easily. He's going to come back, she's going to try to convince him that she's not good enough for him, he's gonna call bull, and they're, somehow, going to end up together. Maybe he'll give up Presidency of the bank? Or just marry her and to hell with the consequences. I don't know, but I'm excited to find out!


message 17: by Karen ⊰✿, Fiction Aficianado (new) - rated it 4 stars

Karen ⊰✿ | 11902 comments Imke wrote: "Will the author Q and A be in this thread or will you make a new one for that?"

I'll post the final set of DQs soon, and then if you have some questions for the author I will send them to her. (I'm not sure if she will post here directly.) I already have a few in my mind ;)


message 18: by Karen ⊰✿, Fiction Aficianado (new) - rated it 4 stars

Karen ⊰✿ | 11902 comments Part Three

13. The last section showed yet another development of Evie. She seems to have aged so much from the start of the book! And the relationship that formed between Viola and Evia was unexpected. How did you find the development of the characters?

14. I was shocked to learn that Thomas was engaged to Winnie. I wonder what happened in the intervening years? If he decided he couldn't keep chasing Evie or if he beleived she had changed her mind? I guess it is much easier these days to communicate with people and get answers! :o

15. I cried at the end. I didn't even feel it coming, the tears just poured out. haha! How did you find the ending?

16. Questions for the author! Please post what you would like to ask Natasha and I'll send them to her via Facebook. I'm not sure if she will post here, so I'll copy and paste the answers here :)



Kerri (geni91782) | 726 comments Before I answer these questions (and ask some of my own :) ), I just wanted to say "Thank you!" to the author, Natasha Lester, for giving the group free copies of her book and allowing me the chance to win one!

Part Three

13. The last section showed yet another development of Evie. She seems to have aged so much from the start of the book! And the relationship that formed between Viola and Evie was unexpected. How did you find the development of the characters?


Evie is definitely a changed woman, though still as strong and fearless as ever. I'm glad she reconciled with Viola. I was ready to write Viola off, but it made me happy to see her change near the end. I finally realized how awful Charles could be and that Evie wasn't as awful as she had been programmed to believe. It's good to see them back together again and probably with a much stronger relationship.

14. I was shocked to learn that Thomas was engaged to Winnie. I wonder what happened in the intervening years? If he decided he couldn't keep chasing Evie or if he believed she had changed her mind? I guess it is much easier these days to communicate with people and get answers! :o

I was surprised by that, as well, though it makes sense that he would eventually get married. I think Tommy was hurt by her not trusting him enough to even bother to tell him why, yet again. I mean, this is the second time she just caught him off with no explanation. I would imagine that would be frustrating and painful. Like Bea said at some point, maybe he got tired of always having to chase Evie. I was really irked with Evie that she refused to tell him he had a child, too... That wasn't fair to Tommy at all. He's a big boy. Let him make his own decisions about his life and who he wants in it.

15. I cried at the end. I didn't even feel it coming, the tears just poured out. haha! How did you find the ending?

I knew they would get married, though I didn't see it happening quite as it did. I'm glad she finally told him, though it was basically forced out of her. I was happy, though I managed to hold the tears in!

16. Questions for the author! Please post what you would like to ask Natasha and I'll send them to her via Facebook. I'm not sure if she will post here, so I'll copy and paste the answers here :)

Oh! Let's see...

1) I work in the medical field and I really enjoyed the insight into the struggles women went through, not only to become doctors in the 1920s, but also in childbirth, as well. What drew you to write about this topic?
2) When reading about Evie's hardships, I realized some of them still ring true today (like her getting paid less than the male doctors and the stigma which still surrounds unwed mothers). Was that a conscious thing you put into your work to call attention to those issues or just coincidental?
3) Did you get to pick your narrator? Because she did a fantastic job with your story!
4) Which character in your novel do you most relate to and why?


message 20: by Natasha (new)

Natasha Lester Hi Kerri, thanks for your questions! Here's my answers:

1. I wanted to write about a woman who was in the first group of women to go to university because, for me, when I finished high school I didn't even think twice about gong to uni - it was just a normal thing to do. So I was interested in writing about a time when this wasn't the case. When I started digging into it a little more, I discovered that medicine was one of the last specialities to admit women, with obstetrics the very final frontier. I knew straight away that this would be great material for a novel and the more I researched, the more incensed I became about the way women were treated and the more I knew I had to write the book!

2. Yes, you're right, many of those stigmas are still in play today. One of the things that has most surprised me is that after almost every author talk I give, I have women coming up to me who tell me they're doctors or medical students and that the bullying is still very prevalent, albeit more subtle. And this is what draws me to historical fiction - it shows us how far we've come but it also shows us how far we still have to go. And, most importantly, it shows me how grateful I should be towards those women who fought these fights. One of my main drivers in writing this book was to show the world how extraordinary these early female medical students were, because their stories have all but been forgotten.

3. I did get to pick the narrator and I'm so glad you liked her because I also thought she did a great job! We listened to samples from several narrators, passing over quite a few because they just didn't sound right. I really enjoyed the way she tried to dramatise the book a bit, rather than just do a straight reading.

4. My favourite character is Evie - I would love to be as brave and courageous as she is. I do relate to her quite a lot because my first 3 jobs in marketing were in very male dominated environments - advertising, accounting and engineering. I experienced a lot of *interesting* behaviour directed towards me because, as a female, I was a bit of a rarity in those industries and they were traditionally male centres of power - to be an ambitious female was apparently very confronting to some people!


message 21: by Karen ⊰✿, Fiction Aficianado (new) - rated it 4 stars

Karen ⊰✿ | 11902 comments Natasha wrote: "Hi Kerri, thanks for your questions! Here's my answers:

1. I wanted to write about a woman who was in the first group of women to go to university because, for me, when I finished high school I di..."


That is so interesting that obstetrics was last considering what it is all about!!
Actually all of your answers interested me, but also that you got to chose your narrator. I always wondered how much say the author had in that process


message 22: by Karen ⊰✿, Fiction Aficianado (new) - rated it 4 stars

Karen ⊰✿ | 11902 comments Question for Natasha

Thanks so much for providing us with the opportunity to read your book and being so generous with your time also.

Now I've read your three books, this one was the most different, but it still had a common theme with your other two novels of (a) the MCs have a poor relationship with their mother and (b) the medical profession plays a role (What Is Left Over, After the husband is a heart surgeon and If I Should Lose You) her mother was a heart surgeon).

So two questions for the moment ;)
1.Do these themes resonate with you for a particular reason?
2. Why did you decide to jump into Historical Fiction for this book and your next one?


message 23: by Natasha (new)

Natasha Lester Karen ⊰✿ wrote: "Question for Natasha

Thanks so much for providing us with the opportunity to read your book and being so generous with your time also.

Now I've read your three books, this one was the most differ..."


Hi Karen

My pleasure! Thank you so much for choosing my book to read! And for reading my older ones too. To answer your questions:

1. My poor mother thinks I'm trying to tell her something through my books about my relationship with her as a child because, you're right, they all feature complicated mother/daughter relationships! I think I'm drawn to that theme because mother/daughter relationships are so important in anyone's life, and those relationships have always been a fixture of stories since the first fairytales, so I know they must resonate with readers on a deeper, emotional level. As a mother of two daughters, I'm constantly fascinated by the differences in my relationships with my daughters compared to my son. I also like to explore the "good mother" trope and pick that apart and see what that really means - that there are many different ways to be a good mother even if those outside the relationship (and even those inside it) might not see it as "good".

Re the medical themes - I think I must have a secret yearning to be a doctor! I'm not really sure why I keep being drawn to medical themes other than, again, there is just so much scope for story there. The issues are complicated, there is sometimes no right or wrong, and there is huge potential for people to show what they're really made of when they're dealing with life and death, which I find an interesting thing to explore with my characters.

2. I've always loved and been a voracious reader of historical fiction but I didn't necessarily make a conscious decision to write historical fiction for this book. It was just that the idea that attracted my attention happened to be historical in nature. I'd wanted to write a love story - that was my initial impulse when looking for my next book to write - but when I started writing A Kiss it just made so much sense to me that I would write historical because it's a genre I love, I love the research, I've alway been interested in history. I think you do really have to love research to write in this area because that part of the writing process takes up a lot of time. I loved every minute of writing A Kiss and can't see myself moving away from historical fiction any time soon!


message 24: by Cai (last edited Aug 27, 2016 08:55PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Cai (PrincessCai) | 171 comments 1. What are your feelings towards Thomas?

I love Thomas. He is a secret feminist! However, I feel sorry for him that he feels he always has to clean up after Charles. Hopefully he will eventually let his father deal with him the way he should.

2. Mrs Whitman seems quite "enlightened" for the time seeing that she lent her dowry to her husband to set up the bank ; and she is also quite the romantic! Do you think she will continue to play a vital role for Evie?

I certainly hope so. As Evie doesn't have a really good relationship with her mother, she needs someone to look up to.

3. So guesses on baby Mary's father?

It's Charlie. No doubt about it.

4. Thoughts on Viola? She seems to have had her sights on Charlie. Would they make a good match?

I feel sorry for Viola. Like Charlie, they both have siblings that their parents put all their aspirations on and it fosters jealousy. They both need to pull their heads in though. They wouldn't make a good match as their jealousy would just extend to their own relationship and the would be quite volatile.

5. Your initial impressions of the book? The writing style / historical references / language used?

I absolutely love it. It is clear that the author has done her research. the writing style is very easy to read and it's hard to put down.


message 25: by Karen ⊰✿, Fiction Aficianado (new) - rated it 4 stars

Karen ⊰✿ | 11902 comments Natasha wrote: "Karen ⊰✿ wrote: "My poor mother thinks I'm trying to tell her something through my books about my relationship with her as a child because, you're right, they all feature complicated mother/daughter relationships!..."

haha! I bet

Thank you for your answers. It's been a pleasure to read your stories and get to know you a little more!


message 26: by Karen ⊰✿, Fiction Aficianado (new) - rated it 4 stars

Karen ⊰✿ | 11902 comments Cai wrote: "I feel sorry for Viola. Like Charlie, they both have siblings that their parents put all their aspirations on and it fosters jealousy. ..."

Good point


Kay Kay | 1790 comments I LOVE THIS BOOK!!! I will be back to answer questions. I have it on audible and so far I think it might be a new favorite


Alexa Carver (alexacarver) | 181 comments It took me awhile to get this started, because I couldn't figure out how to get the audiobook onto my iPod (I live in the US and the copy I won came from audible.au, it was super confusing) but now I'm booking along on this, over halfway through it and I'm loving every minute of it! Also, I absolutely love the narrator, she does an amazing job.

1. I *loved* the meeting with Thomas in the tree and how he gave Evie the seed of an idea about being a Doctor. What are your feelings towards Thomas?

I really like Thomas, he seems like he would be a good match for Evie. I like how he was always in the background for Evie while growing up and she had just never really noticed him before.

2. Mrs Whitman seems quite "enlightened" for the time seeing that she lent her dowry to her husband to set up the bank ; and she is also quite the romantic! Do you think she will continue to play a vital role for Evie?

Sssh, I'm a little farther than chapter 10 so I know she will, but I'm hoping Evie ends up with Thomas, so she's her mother-in-law, and Charlie disappears somehow so he doesn't have to be part of her family the rest of his life.

3. So guesses on baby Mary's father? My money was originally on Charlie, but then I started wondering if it is Evie's father :o

I think it's Charlie, and I really think Thomas is covering for him with the money. That would be the only reason I wouldn't suspect Charlie, because I think if it was really his child he wouldn't be supporting it.

4. Thoughts on Viola? She seems to have had her sights on Charlie. Would they make a good match?

I don't like Viola, but I don't think she would be smart or strong enough to put up with Charlie as a husband.

5. Your initial impressions of the book? The writing style / historical references / language used?

This whole book just makes me super happy. I love the writing style and how it seems kind of like you're reading Evie's diary. I'm enjoying the look into how difficult it was back then for women to succeed in anything other than motherhood, most 1920's books you read don't have that aspect to them. I can't wait to read what happens next!


message 29: by Karen ⊰✿, Fiction Aficianado (new) - rated it 4 stars

Karen ⊰✿ | 11902 comments Karrie wrote: "I LOVE THIS BOOK!!! I will be back to answer questions. I have it on audible and so far I think it might be a new favorite"

Yay! I read the Kindle version, but I listened to the audio sample, and people I know that listened to the audio said the narrator was fantastic


message 30: by Karen ⊰✿, Fiction Aficianado (new) - rated it 4 stars

Karen ⊰✿ | 11902 comments Alexa wrote: "It took me awhile to get this started, because I couldn't figure out how to get the audiobook onto my iPod (I live in the US and the copy I won came from audible.au, it was super confusing) but now..."

So glad you worked it out and you're enjoying it!


Kay Kay | 1790 comments 1. I *loved* the meeting with Thomas in the tree and how he gave Evie the seed of an idea about being a Doctor. What are your feelings towards Thomas?
I like Thomas. I like that he supports Evie. I hope Evie and Thomas wind up together.

2. Mrs Whitman seems quite "enlightened" for the time seeing that she lent her dowry to her husband to set up the bank ; and she is also quite the romantic! Do you think she will continue to play a vital role for Evie?
I hope so. I like that she has supported Evie as well, although I think that there will be a plot twist that will leave Evie abandoned by her for a short while, but then another twist will find them reunited.

3. So guesses on baby Mary's father? My money was originally on Charlie, but then I started wondering if it is Evie's father :o
No, I think Charlie. And I think Charlie's mother knows and sent to bonnet. Although I can't quite figure out why she would do that, so maybe Charlie sent the bonnet??? But that doesn't make sense either.

4. Thoughts on Viola? She seems to have had her sights on Charlie. Would they make a good match?
Ummm... they deserve each other.

5. Your initial impressions of the book? The writing style / historical references / language used?
I love the book. The writing is excellent and engaging. The set up was wonderful I get a feel for the time period with out getting bogged down in too many details. I love it!!!


Kay Kay | 1790 comments 6. Two years have passed and the opening line of this part really surprised me! Have you enjoyed the development of Evie's character?
Oh yes! This book is so well done. I am very caught up in the story and can't wait to finish it this week. I wish it was available in a print format!
7. Four births and only two live babies. This was such a reminder to me of how lucky I am to live nowadays or I probably would have been another statistic (both my kids were born via c-section). I got quite teary with the births described here. Your thoughts?
I agree. I am so glad for modern medicine! Thinking about child birth was scary enough, without having to deal with a very real risk of death! My three were pretty easy, but it still wasn't fun!

8. Lovely romance with Lil and Leo! Have you ever played matchmaker?
Nope. I've thought about it, but never acted on it.

9. Given all of the obstacles, do you agree with Evie's choice to be a Doctor?
She is following her heart and trying to help people. She is very aware that she is not only helping patients, but other women who have dreams of breaking into a man's career as well. So yes I think it is a good choice because she is not just trying to prove she can do it, she has sound reasons.

10. I was quite disappointed with Evie going away with Tom seeing how she has watched so many "fallen" women herself. The big reveal at the end of this section seemed a bit inevitable. Your thoughts?
Well, of course she should have waited until she was married. And your right she should have know better. But I enjoy the relationship between her and Tommy. I am just shocked that she won't talk to him about it. He has always stood by her side.

11. So we now know Mary's parentage! If I was Evie I would take the father's letter and go and talk to her mother and have them adopt Mary. But perhaps those are just modern sensibilities. Do you think it is at all possible for Evie to be able to be a single mother of two in this time period?
Not easily! She will need lots of support. I agree that she should find another solution for Mary. Couldn't Lil and Leo adopt her? Or another couple? Couldn't she wait until she and Tommy are married? Can't she just tell Tommy she's pregnant, marry him, adopt Mary and work as a doctor? There happily ever after. She hasn't really cared what others have thought up to the point.

12. Predictions for the end? Tommy marries Winnie and Evie goes ahead with her silly plan. In the end they find each other again, and are reunited after Winnie's early death from fly shrapnel after a hot tea kettle explodes on the stove while she is preparing to entertain the English lords.


Kay Kay | 1790 comments 13. The last section showed yet another development of Evie. She seems to have aged so much from the start of the book! And the relationship that formed between Viola and Evia was unexpected. How did you find the development of the characters?
I loved the development of the characters. I thought it was excellent! I love characters that show growth and change, and are believable. She did a great job with her characters!

14. I was shocked to learn that Thomas was engaged to Winnie. I wonder what happened in the intervening years? If he decided he couldn't keep chasing Evie or if he beleived she had changed her mind? I guess it is much easier these days to communicate with people and get answers! :o
I was not shocked. I did not expect Thomas to wait forever and I got a bit frustrated with Evie's melodramatic response. I thought she had decided to give him up when she ran away. (although I was glad when they wound up together)
15. I cried at the end. I didn't even feel it coming, the tears just poured out. haha! How did you find the ending?
I loved it. I got a little teary too.

16. Questions for the author! Please post what you would like to ask Natasha and I'll send them to her via Facebook. I'm not sure if she will post here, so I'll copy and paste the answers here :)


message 34: by Cai (new) - rated it 5 stars

Cai (PrincessCai) | 171 comments 6. Two years have passed and the opening line of this part really surprised me! Have you enjoyed the development of Evie's character?

I have absolutely loved the development of Evie's character. She is very relatable. So strong and independent.

7. Four births and only two live babies. This was such a reminder to me of how lucky I am to live nowadays or I probably would have been another statistic (both my kids were born via c-section). I got quite teary with the births described here. Your thoughts?

I am so thankful that I did not have any serious issues with my labour. I am so grateful that everything was my choice. That I had the ability to give birth my way. I am so thankful for modern medicine.

8. Lovely romance with Lil and Leo! Have you ever played matchmaker?

I have tried but it has always failed. Not like these two.

9. Given all of the obstacles, do you agree with Evie's choice to be a Doctor?

Absolutely. She has the compassion that is needed. Given all the obstacles that she has encountered and overcome, she needs this.

10. I was quite disappointed with Evie going away with Tom seeing how she has watched so many "fallen" women herself. The big reveal at the end of this section seemed a bit inevitable. Your thoughts?

I was not disappointed at all. I loved it. She is more advanced than the women of her time so why not. Yes it is inevitable but it makes her who she is.

11. So we now know Mary's parentage! If I was Evie I would take the father's letter and go and talk to her mother and have them adopt Mary. But perhaps those are just modern sensibilities. Do you think it is at all possible for Evie to be able to be a single mother of two in this time period?

Absolutely. Evie keeps proving that while the odds are not in her favour that she can persevere through anything. While I don't agree with all of her choices, she can do anything that she puts her mind to.

12. Predictions for the end?

I have finished the whole book but I did predict a happy ending for all.


message 35: by Cai (new) - rated it 5 stars

Cai (PrincessCai) | 171 comments 13. The last section showed yet another development of Evie. She seems to have aged so much from the start of the book! And the relationship that formed between Viola and Evie was unexpected. How did you find the development of the characters?

I love that having children brought them together and made them grow as people. It was fantastic as I expected Viola to stay as horrid as she was earlier.

14. I was shocked to learn that Thomas was engaged to Winnie. I wonder what happened in the intervening years? If he decided he couldn't keep chasing Evie or if he beleived she had changed her mind? I guess it is much easier these days to communicate with people and get answers! :o

I imagine he would have pined and pined after her.

15. I cried at the end. I didn't even feel it coming, the tears just poured out. haha! How did you find the ending?

I cried too. I bawled and bawled then went and asked my partner when we can have another baby.


message 36: by Karen ⊰✿, Fiction Aficianado (new) - rated it 4 stars

Karen ⊰✿ | 11902 comments Lol Cai! I love your answer to #15. So awesome when books can impact us like that


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