by Kathleen Tessaro
Buy the Book: Amazon
Goodreads: Maeve Fanning is a first generation Irish immigrant, born and raised among the poor, industrious Italian families of Boston’s North End by her widowed mother. Clever, capable, and as headstrong as her red hair suggests, she’s determined to better herself despite the overwhelming hardships of the Great Depression.
However, Maeve also has a dangerous fondness for strange men and bootleg gin—a rebellious appetite that soon finds her spiraling downward, leading a double life. When the strain proves too much, Maeve becomes an unwilling patient in a psychiatric hospital, where she strikes up a friendship with an enigmatic young woman, who, like Maeve, is unable or unwilling to control her un-lady-like desire for freedom.
Once out, Maeve faces starting over again. Armed with a bottle of bleach and a few white lies, she lands a job at an eccentric antiques shop catering to Boston’s wealthiest and most peculiar collectors. Run by an elusive English archeologist, the shop is a haven of the obscure and incredible, providing rare artifacts as well as unique access to the world of America’s social elite. While delivering a purchase to the wealthy Van der Laar family, Maeve is introduced to beautiful socialite Diana Van der Laar—only to discover she’s the young woman from the hospital.
Reunited with the charming but increasingly unstable Diana and pursued by her attractive brother James, Mae becomes more and more entwined with the Van der Laar family—a connection that pulls her into a world of moral ambiguity and deceit, and ultimately betrayal. Bewitched by their wealth and desperate to leave her past behind, Maeve is forced to unearth her true values and discover how far she’ll to go to reinvent herself.
Kritters Thoughts: A quintessential historical fiction where a woman comes from the wrong side of the tracks and gets mixed up in the high life and loves it! Maeve returns home after a stint in New York city that did not work out and she is returning to Boston to put the pieces back together. She is reunited with an acquaintance from her days in New York who will turn her world upside down.
I felt as though while I was reading that I had read this storyline before and I like it, but this one didn't outdo the others. I enjoyed Maeve as a character, but there were moments in this book that seemed repetitive and others that seemed slow or lacking of plot movement.
I almost loved the first half with her times in New York, they seemed interesting and I loved hearing her try out a new city and the growth that a person has when they get out of their comfort zone and have experiences that they wouldn't have in the place they grew up.
I love this author, I read The Perfume Collector and adored it. I am intrigued to try some of her other books and will absolutely read them with an open mind.
Rating: definitely a good read, but can't read two in a row
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one copy of this book free of charge from TLC Book Tours. I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.