Title: A Kiss from Mr Fitzgerald
Author: Natasha Lester
Genre: historical fiction/romance
Dates read: 11/03/18 – 15/03/18
This book reminded me how good historical fiction can be. I actually went back and checked how much of it I had read in the past year, and it turned out not much. In 2017, I read four historical fiction books, and I wasn’t really into any of them. I’m glad this one reminded me how good it feels to get sucked into a different time and place.
After witnessing a woman die of childbirth in the woods while the men in her life look on and do nothing, Evie Lockhart wants is to become a obstetrician. But it’s 1925 and so to pay her way through medical school, Evie becomes a Ziegfeld Girl, starring in the infamous Ziegfeld Follies every night. But with the man she should have married threatening her, and the man she wants to marry away in London for months at a time, how long can she maintain this double life?
The best thing about this book was how easily I got invested in the characters. Evie was easy to like, and I was rooting for her the whole time, as well as her relationship with Thomas Whitman. Charles Whitman made me go and write angry GoodReads updates. He was dispicable, and I couldn’t even sympathise with him from the perspective of “younger brother always in the older brother’s shadow”. I also appreciated the support that Evie got from the women in her life, particularly her best friend, Lil, and Mrs Whitman.
The 1920s is of course a very fun era and I really enjoyed the descriptions of the Follies, the speakeasies and the fashions. Lester has payed close attention to detail to ensure that the historical atmosphere of this book is as accurate as possible. It’s not all fun and games, though; the misogyny of the era is also brought to light quite thoroughly and realistically. It made me angry, but it also made Evie’s triumphs throughout the story all the more satisfying.
This review is part of my Australian Women Writers Challenge for 2018. Click here for more information.