I finally got an infusion of new books on my weekend in Kenora in June and I have been feeling refreshed and ready to read again. I’m also in a big TV rut and want to watch none of the things that I have access to through all of my various subscriptions. And I have set myself a goal of reading a book a week, and for the past couple weeks I have done just that.
One of these is a repeat read, and we definitely have a British historical fiction theme happening that I didn’t notice until I was taking the pictures of this post.
This was one of my new buys from the used bookshop in Kenora. It is definitely part of a series and there was definitely some context missing. It was also just, mediocre. It wasn’t terrible, there just seemed to be some details of the time travel, science fiction-y bits that just weren’t fleshed out enough to make the book flow nicely. I can tell that part of the point of this series is that they are still figuring it out. So maybe it would eventually tie up in a nice neat bow but I didn’t enjoy this book enough to seek out the rest of the series.
I’m thinking about putting up a Little Free Library and this book is probably going to end up in it.
It starts with the protagonist Emmaline Truelove on a train to meet her boss, the Duke of Olympia, in Scotland and she is talking to the ghost(?), spirit (?) of Queen Victoria. She seems to be judging her poor choices? Her modernity? She is then joined by a handsome Lord who was involved in a previous time traveling incident in Greece. They are accosted by a ginger man who is trying to steal some of the scientific papers she is carrying with her up to her boss in Scotland. He isn’t successful, but he does cause them to miss their connecting train in Edinburgh. Truelove and the Lord go on a date and she sets him up on the couch in her hotel room that night. When she wakes up in the morning he is gone and so are the papers.
She continues on to the castle where she is meeting her boss and they are again attacked by the ginger man, who claims to be a colleague of the Duke’s from decades in the future. However, he has come back slightly too far and they don’t know how it works yet. They figure out that the Lord has been accidentally sent back in time and Truelove convinces the Duke to send her back in time to wherever the Lord is and bring them both back.
Essentially, nothing goes according to plan and everything gets screwed up. And I don’t understand any of it.
This was the repeat read of the month. This is a historical mystery done right. It is set at the beginning of the BBC in London, England and women are just starting to be allowed to work and to vote in England. Maisie is a Canadian raised in New York now living in England. She lied about her age to work as a nurse in the Great War and has been employed and desperately applying for secretarial work (basically all a woman is permitted to do at the time), and finally gets an interview at the BBC. She ends up getting the job and despite the efforts of the first secretary really starts to excel at work. She is split between departments at first, as the 2nd secretary to the Director General of the BBC and then the head of the Talks, a woman, who may have been a spy in the Great War, although that is never confirmed or denied, named Hilda. Hilda nurtures and encourages Maisie’s talents and eventually brings her into the investigation into the British Nazi Party trying to gain influence in British media, business, and government.
This is an excellent book, it was my 2nd time reading it and I did not remember a lot of the details. Definitely keeping and will definitely re-read again. I love the themes of a woman advancing in her career, getting her finances right, and then screwing over some anti-Semitic arseholes.
This was a very interesting read. It tied in very well with where I was at with The Crown, and I know very little about King Edward and his abdication. I found it be very interesting. It tells the story of the Morgan sisters, the custody battle between Gloria Morgan and the Vanderbilts for Gloria Vanderbilt (who is Anderson Cooper’s mom, it blows my mind how long ago this was, but many of the people in it didn’t die until the 90s/2000s) and their connection to King Edward. It’s a tale of adultery, affairs, selfishness, and a man who probably would have found any excuse to not be King despite apparently constantly saying things along the lines of “When I’m King…”. From the way this story is told and the way the epilogue is told he wasn’t willing to give anything up or change his lifestyle in any way to serve the country.
This was very good, very interesting. It took me forever to finish reading it and I don’t know why. I think it was part of my reading rut, but it was extremely good.
I think I’m going to place a big Chapters order this month, so any recommendations would be appreciated!