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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The Swan Gondola
464 pages; Riverhead Hardcover
Available at:Amazon.com | Barnes & Noble | Apple Books | IndieBound
Set during the 1898 Omaha World's Fair, this novel recreates the few months that Nebraska served as an international capital, complete with lavish temporary palaces and a cast of cynical hucksters, pickpockets and performers who earn their living on the midway. Though the historical details about the fair's construction delight (imagine: "buildings shaped like foreign shrines," "cupolas with candy-striped shingles" and "a greenhouse full of humming birds that buzzed so close you could almost feel their wings flutter your lashes"), it's the love story of a certain ventriloquist named Ferret Skerritt and an actress named Cecily that captivates, most especially when a wealthy rival to Ferret threatens to separate the two. Be prepared for a romantic finish—and some unexpected twists in the plot that prove magic is possible, even for magicians.
— Leigh Newman