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The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy ~ Mackenzi Lee

February 23, 2019

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Genre: Young Adult/Historical Fiction

Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books

ISNB: 9780062795328

464 pages

Source: Barnes and Noble

Everyone has heard stories of women like us — cautionary tales, morality plays, warnings of what will befall you if you are a girl too wild for the world, a girl who asks too many questions or wants too much. If you set off into the world alone.

Everyone has heard stories of women like us, and now we will make more of them.” ~ The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy (Mackenzie Lee)

Pirates and Feminism and Science, oh my!

Y’all, I LOVED the first book in this series for its romance and adventure but this second was even better.

Where A Gentleman’s Guide was witty and fun, A Lady’s Guide was far deeper and darker. There are several elements of Stalking Jack the Ripper woven in (mainly the sexism and barriers around women in medicine, heck, medicine as a proper science altogether). But there stories themselves are so incredibly different.

For those who read the first book (and honestly, you could get away with reading them separately), this story follows Felicity, Monty’s younger (and far smarter) sister. She has always and forever been a little different than her family and her peers. She’s bookish and reckless, where ladies are supposed to be both social and demure. She doesn’t have any of the expected social graces of her class but she has more drive and intellect than anyone else around her.

Felicity is bound and determined to leave the provincial, pedantic stronghold of marriage and tea parties, destined for a life of scientific advancement and academic knowledge.

And though she would rather circle up with a book than hit the cocktail and dinner party scene, she leaps over social niceties and heads strait from academics to adventure in sixty seconds flat. She basically has two speeds: on and off.

Felicity is complex, as are most humans. She is filled with ambition for her dreams and warmth for those dear to her. She can be hard headed but sometimes flexible. She echos much of today’s internalized misogyny in that she believes the only woman is a strong and fearless one, discounting the idea that one can be both driven and feminine. But that paradigm slowly shifts, moving from icy staunchness to a bit more melted openness, over time.

The social commentary in this book is so brilliant and it comes hard and fast at points, trickled streams at others. There is as much critical investigation of social norms as there is wild, unbounded adventure and y’all know that is my absolute favorite mix.

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