The Double Life of Mistress Kit Kavanagh by Marina Fiorato, published February 2016 by Hodder & Stoughton.
Read: April 2016
Get It Now: Wordery
Goodreads Synopsis: Of all the dangers she faced, the greatest was discovery… When Irish beauty Kit Kavanagh’s husband is taken to be a soldier, Kit enlists in the Duke of Marlborough’s regiment, disguised as a man, to follow him across war-torn Italy. Risking her life in battle, she forms a close bond with her wry and handsome commanding officer, Captain Ross.
But even when she dresses once more as a woman to evade capture, the war is not over for Kit. She catches the eye of the scheming Duke of Ormonde, who recruits her to spy upon the French. Torn between Captain Ross and her husband, and under the orders of the English Crown, Kit’s life will be in more danger now than on any battlefield.
The cover of this book drew me in initially, and the blurb intrigued me even more. I am SO glad that I picked up this read, it has to be in my Top Ten Books of 2016!
This novel was absolutely fantastic. In years gone by, I wasn’t one for historical reads, but a couple have completely blown me away (this being one of them), and I’m definitely a convert. The Double Life of Mistress Kit Kavanagh is a fascinating story about a kick-ass woman in the 1700’s, who had amazing strength of character. Fiorato has written a fast-paced, and action-packed novel, that kept me hooked until the very last page. This book could have been 200 pages longer, and I wouldn’t have complained. There are themes of friendship, romance, betrayal, LGBT, and what could be considered to be early-feminism within these pages. The icing on the cake, for me, was when I found out that this novel is based on the true story of Mother Ross. While Fiorato has obviously used some creative license with the story, the majority of it is very much based in truth.
This book is the epitome of a page-turner – well written, with a couple of plot twists to grab your attention, we follow Kit’s journey through a couple of spin-off sub-plots, before reaching the grand finale. For less accomplished authors, this could have made the story drag, or resulted in reader-confusion, lessening the impact of the overall book and the ending, but Kit’s story is well told and described, so the reader doesn’t get an overload of information. This book had everything I love in a novel – there were suspenseful moments, moments of glory, romance, and times I almost shed a few tears. This book gave me a HUGE book hangover. As soon as I finished it, I wanted to flick back to the start and read it all over again. Highly recommended, and a new favourite. I can’t wait to read more by Fiorato.
Have you read The Double Life of Mistress Kit Kavanagh? Or are you interested in picking this one up? Let me know in the comments!