Read: October 2015
Get It Now: Wordery
Goodreads Synopsis: 1958. At eighteen, Georgia Hamilton is sent to London for the Debutante Season. Independent, and with secret dreams to be a writer, she has no wish to join the other debs competing for a husband. But when tragedy strikes, her fate appears to have been sealed.
2012. Hurrying to meet her lover, Amy Carrell hopes tonight will change her destiny. And it does – but not in the way she imagined. Desolate and desperate to get out of London, she accepts a position as companion to a mysterious stranger, bound for Manhattan – little knowing she is about to unlock a love story that has waited fifty years to be told. And a heart waiting to come back to life…
As you can see, I read this book quite a while ago, and I’m only getting to review it now. I can’t not review this book, but we’re going to be relying on what I can remember in detail from 9 months ago… Should this review fall short, I remember this: I adored this book and gave it 5/5*. I never give 5/5*…
This book is the definition of subtle perfection. I spotted that beauty of a cover when I was out doing my weekly food shop, and I just couldn’t walk past it. I’ve seen the original cover for this novel, which portrays it as some kind of contemporary “chick lit” or “women’s fiction”. I agree with neither of these awful categorisations, and I agree even less with their stereotypical bubble-gum caricature book covers. But, I digress.
I love that this novel is dual point-of-view, and dual timeline. I used to be particular about what historical eras I’d read about, but a couple of fantastic books from obscure time periods, mean that now, I’ll give anything a go. The glitz and glamour of the Debutante Season in Georgia’s story gave me definite vibes of Gossip Girl, if only a slightly more mature version, while Amy’s modern-day difficulties and relationship woes were all too relatable. Although there is a considerable age difference, Georgia and Amy’s developing friendship is lovely to read about, and I was surprised by how much I really connected with Georgia.
Make no mistake, this is not a particularly light or fluffy read. There were certain plot points I didn’t see coming, that truly had me gripped! These darker elements run in the background of the story, and there is an obvious commentary on social class, and the role of a woman in marriage. Some Feminist ideals are carefully brought into question, and not everyone might agree with the sentiment. However, this reader is one great big feminist, and I did not take offence, nor did I start burning this book. So I’m sure you’ll survive.
Overall, I really enjoyed this read, and was totally swept away to a different time and place. I shed a tear or five by the end of the novel, and this is definitely a book I’ll be keeping, and rereading!
Have you read The Proposal, or any other books by Perry? Let me know your thoughts and recommendations in the comments!