Author: Mackenzi Lee
Genre: Young Adult, Historical Fiction
Publication: October 2, 2018 by Katherine Tegen Books
My Rating: ★★★★★
Synopsis: Felicity Montague is through with pretending she prefers society parties to books about bone setting—or that she’s not smarter than most people she knows, or that she cares about anything more than her dream of becoming a doctor.
A year after an accidentally whirlwind tour of Europe, which she spent evading highwaymen and pirates with her brother Monty, Felicity has returned to England with two goals in mind—avoid the marriage proposal of Callum Doyle, a lovestruck suitor from Edinburgh; and enroll in medical school. However, her intellect and passion will never be enough in the eyes of the administrators, who see men as the sole guardians of science.
But then a small window of hope opens. Doctor Alexander Platt, an eccentric physician that Felicity idolizes, is looking for research assistants, and Felicity is sure that someone as forward thinking as her hero would be willing to take her on. However, Platt is in Germany, preparing to wed Felicity’s estranged childhood friend Johanna. Not only is Felicity reluctant to opening old wounds, she also has no money to make the trip.
Luckily, a mysterious young woman is willing to pay Felicity’s way, so long as she’s allowed to travel with Felicity disguised as her maid. In spite of her suspicions, Felicity agrees, but once the girl’s true motives are revealed, Felicity becomes part of a perilous quest that will lead her from the German countryside to the promenades of Zurich to secrets lurking beneath the Atlantic. (Source: Goodreads)
*Note: This review is spoiler free, but there will be minor spoilers for the first book in the series (The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue)
I’d first like to say a huge thank you to Edelweiss and Katherine Tegen Books for providing me with an eARC copy of this. It was very much appreciated 🙂
Lady’s Guide was quite possibly my highest anticipated release of this year, and let me tell you: it did not disappoint. Seriously, it was absolutely everything I wanted it to be and so much more. 5 stars doesn’t even feel like enough, tbh.
Felicity is a character I love more than words can describe. When we first met her in The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue, I immediately was inspired by her fierce personality and how true she was to herself. Getting to read an entire book about her and her journey was so special. I could really feel for her in Lady’s Guide, and it made me sad to see her rejected constantly for being a woman in science. Reading about her difficulties with self discovery and her uncertainty about the future really resonated with me. Love, love, LOVE her.
And of course revisiting the old characters we know from the previous book, like Felicity, while also being introduced to new characters was a great deal of fun. I really missed Monty and Percy (I love them), and I’ll say that their parts in this book made my heart so beyond happy. Getting to see those two and where they are now was something I was really looking forward to. The new characters that we meet are complex, well written, and I really enjoyed reading about them. It’s safe to say that Mackenzi Lee does an excellent job writing characters.
One of the aspects I particularly liked in this book was the portrayal of feminism, and the reality of sexism, in history. It was hard to read all the times Felicity, or another woman, experienced prejudice from men. Seeing them stand up for themselves and their abilities was empowering, but it also put a lot in perspective. We see how women shouldn’t have to constantly be proving themselves just because they are women. The ideas explored about feminism and misogyny in history were educational and one of the most notable parts of this book.
And the plot!! I was totally engrossed with the plot line. I won’t say much because I don’t want to spoil you guys, but it’s mysterious and exciting and adventurous. I constantly wanted to know what was going to happen next because of how many secrets kept being revealed. Like Gentleman’s Guide, the adventurous side of this book was a great deal of fun, but it was totally different (in a good way, of course).
One more note I’d like to make was how much I loved the writing. Mackenzi Lee is such a genius. She portrays the time period in a way that feels so realistic. I actually end up learning a lot of historical details when I read her books, which is honestly very cool. There’s also tons of hilarious one liners and dialogue that made me laugh out loud, and I loved that. It was refreshing and it made this book that much more enjoyable.
All in all, this book was incredible and I enjoyed so much about it. The humor, the characters, the plot, the diversity, the writing, and the historical aspect made it everything I wanted it to be. I’m just so happy that it exists and just… getting to read about Felicity was the best. This book became a favorite of mine so quickly. And I can’t wait for you guys to read it❤️