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Friday, December 7, 2012

Review: The Gilded Lily by Deborah Swift

The Gilded LilyPublisher: St. Martin's Griffin
ISBN: 1250001900
Pages: 480 pages
Genre: Historical Fiction/England
Challenges- 100 Books In A Year 2012, Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge 2012, Krazy Kleypas Reading Challenge,
Buy this Book: Amazon, Indiebound, Powell's


A spellbinding historical novel of beauty and greed and surprising redemption.

England, 1660. Ella Appleby believes she is destined for better things than slaving as a housemaid and dodging the blows of her drunken father. When her employer dies suddenly, she seizes her chance--taking his valuables and fleeing the countryside with her sister for the golden prospects of London. But London may not be the promised land she expects. Work is hard to find, until Ella takes up with a dashing and dubious gentleman with ties to the London underworld. Meanwhile, her old employer's twin brother is in hot pursuit of the sisters.

Set in a London of atmospheric coffee houses, gilded mansions, and shady pawnshops hidden from rich men's view, Deborah Swift's The Gilded Lily is a dazzling novel of historical adventure.

My Review:

I have been working on this review for a while. It was one of the victims of my epic computer failure of 2012 not once but twice. I had to read this book twice so luckily I loved it both times. So much that I will be buying the first book, The Lady's Slipper, right away.

I didn't know what to think of Ella when I first met her. She's a bit difficult. She's selfish, she's sometimes not the nicest person on the planet. But I liked her. I really did. I spent more time identifying with her than I did disliking her. I think that's a mark of a great writer...making a likeable character out of someone like Ella. Sadie was so different from Ella. She was shy, sweet and an utter victim without being weak. I felt for her and was rooting for her throughout the whole book.

This was one of the most interesting books I have picked up in a long while. I loved that I liked and identified with both Ella and Sadie. They are two completely different women but Swift drew them both so well. The storyline was also quite interesting and the writing was absolutely beautiful. I haven't read a pure historical fiction in a long time and I think this may have reawakened my love of them. The historical detail was amazing. It was authentic from the language to the descriptions and dialogue. Swift was true to the time period and the setting. I appreciated the detail and the fact that this book is quite chunky. I love a good 400+ page book.

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