Costume-Drama Novels Every Intelligent Woman Needs to Read
Forget the powerless girl mooning over the lord of the manor. These exhilarating journeys into the past feature women who rise above their historical circumstances to find freedom, love—and well-deserved glory.
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320 pages; Henry Holt and Co.
Available at:Amazon.com | Barnes & Noble | Apple Books | IndieBound
Imagine a cocktail party conversation between Jane Austen, Moliere and Elizabeth Gilbert and you have an idea of the irreverent fun of Sedition, the first adult novel by British YA-author Katharine Grant. On the cusp of the 19th century, four men with five daughters between them meet at a London coffeehouse to talk marriage. The fathers decide to orchestrate a pianoforte concert in an attempt to lure the highest-caliber prospective husbands; their girls will learn to play this new instrument so beautifully that marriage offers will come flooding in. Add in a lascivious French music tutor, the talented and lively daughter of the pianoforte-maker, some more romantic intrigue and you've got a wily historical page-turner with loads of period detail to boot. Don't be fooled by the fact that, at first, the men in the novel appear to have all the power. With each chapter another woman transgresses through another boundary—be it artistic, sexual or social—and, in doing so, becomes more fully herself. Of one daughter's pianoforte playing, Grant writes, "She played it as Herr Bach intended, except that the pathos was so sinuous and sensual, the audience might have been watching a...very indecent ballet." The description could easily be applied to the wickedly absorbing Sedition.
— Julie Buntin