File Size: 4654 KB
Print Length: 149 pages
Publisher: GAIL CARRIGER LLC; 1.0 edition (November 1, 2016)
Publication Date: November 1, 2016
The story is from the point of view of Imogene, a country maid who takes a job at the beehive both for much needed wages as well as a goal of perhaps finding others who like herself share a same sex interest. Carriger really does carefully frames the difficulties a village woman with little power in the Victorian era might have had in locating a enthusiast of her own inclination.
Once at the beehive, Imogene comes across Genevieve Lefoux and over a number of months their flirtations grow to something far deeper. Class differences are noted by Imogene, who feels overwhelmed at how far apart they may be socially and there is a nod to the above/below stairs divide that may appeal to enthusiasts of Downton Abbey.
Several aspects worked quite well in this book. Regardless of the brevity of the story, time passed. This did not include a three week relationship one often finds in shorter stories, nor was there an unreasonable number of years going by. Instead a few several weeks passed here and there, long enough for the heroines to actually get to know each other--not just fall madly into bed.
Imogene was an active heroine. There were aspects that were out there of her control and the resplendent Lady Maccon charges into save the day at one especially frightening moment but overall, Imogene does her best to hold her own and act on the woman interests. At the beginning she exhibited a combination of heroine worship and puppy love that could have made the woman unbearably sweet but Carriger develops the character to be more active and complex and therefore more suitable counterpart to Lefoux.
While I'm not much of one for reading intercourse scenes, the ones in this story were much better than what was in the last story. That was sweeter and consensual desire and affection was apparent. While Genevieve was resisting, it was out there of emotional self-protection.
There were a few minimal quibbles. Imogene's is pointed out several times at the beginning but dropped rather cavalierly about 60% of the way through the book. Considering she actually is a primary source of income for them and a potential driving force for her work, this was a loose conclusion flapping.
I also found it a litle odd that in a family with many children and a large amount of poverty, Imogene was only just heading to work at age 28? Alexia was unusual at 26 being a dedicated spinster in Soulless, it seemed nearly impossible that a country girl would be unemployed, unmarried, not in the church, and so forth by two years older. Sexual violence is present in the book--though more as threat than activity, and I didn't treatment for Imogene later appearing to partially excuse it.
A final delightful aspect was seeing Major Channing a somewhat warmer light. Speculate if this trade the suspicion that Carriger has a relationship planned for him and perhaps the relevation of a lost love as well. He was kind to Imogene and their interactions were heartfelt and comfortable.
Carriger is more confident in this second romance offering and results with ease to Alexia's world, which will bring longtime readers along easily. Newer readers will notice the allusions to other characters and stories but these do not discompose overall.
Overall, this is a charming addition to the canon.
Reviewed from an Advanced Reader Duplicate., I adored this book. But then I have not read a single Gail Carriger book I do not like. If you loved Madame LeFoux in The Parasol Protectorate series, you will adore this short story, as I actually did.
The only thing I didn't care for was the cover, and it was my only reason for giving it 4 stars. This cover reminds me of the amateur Indie-published homemade covers from years past. (Thankfully most Indie books are looking good these days and nights. ) If that is supposed to be Dame LeFoux, the adorable cross-dressing inventor, then someone needs to actually read the books before creating such a travesty. She's OLDER than the maid. Why not show a good, adult woman? This cover totally missed the point., Author Carriger is brilliant. I actually LOVED this story, episode, the characters and the humor, which had myself laughing so hard I actually cried--I really needed it. I purchased the fréquentation and possess only ONE issue: The narrator assumes a French accents for just one particular character who is French but speaks rather good 'Queen's English'. One MASSIVE mistake the narrator makes is in mispronouncing papillon as 'papee-Lon'. I cringed every time I heard the French character say it. Papillon means butterfly and is pronounced 'papee-YON', with the last syllable carried at the back of the upper throat, the 'n' softened and nose.
The reference is to the breed of small fluffy puppies that resemble butterflies when they walk. Hence, title. They're really sweet.
Back to the rest of the story: What I especially enjoy about Ms. Carriger's writing is how she handles the romantic and intimate scenes. No lewd, crude nor explicit words are ever used to identify the interaction. BRILLIANT! That is blessedly refreshing and it is teaching me how to handle MY characters' relationships.
You'll love her adventures and the woman characters. If you're searching for something different, fun, smart, adventurous, please give Gail Carriger's stories a read. You'll be smiling, laughing and thinking the complete way through.
I'm buying ALL the woman books.
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