Acquired Book By: In January  I was approached about two Spring releases of Historical Fiction – each of them were uniquely different than each other but they each held a curiosity of interest in me to be read. The two titles were the following “The Parting Glass” and “The Lost History of Dreams”. This first novel is set the 19th Century and spins a uniquely evocative tale which involves class and the boundaries of society whilst also examines a closer view into Women’s topics of interest.
I received a complimentary ARC copy of “The Parting Glass” direct from the publisher Atria Books (an imprint of Simon & Schuster) in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.
The reason reading ‘”The Parting Glass” appealled to me:
* In regards to “The Parting Glass” – the sociological and psychological examination of society views, social norms and the influences of lifestyle choices. I do like finding literature which delves into the sociological choices of people who are choosing to live alternatively to what society might consider either taboo or outside the regular sequence of living. I was also drawn to the character Liddie as it is rare to have an openly LGBTQ+ character in Historical narratives; there are a few but it is not very often you find writers are including their representation.
* I was further impressed with what the author wrote about how her story takes a literary stance on sexuality and does not cross the line into erotica but rather is presenting an honest representation of sexuality from the POV of the two lead female characters in her story. I appreciate writers who are up front about this as one thing I am most critical about is when fiction sidelines into Erotica and/or when your not prepared for what is inclusive to a story prior to reading it. I have read an up front and interpersonal exploration of an individual’s sexuality previously from a feminine POV and it was executed brilliantly as it was one woman’s search for sexual identity and sexual freedom. It appears this is the case for this narrative as well.
* This fits in well with my search for Feminist Historical Fiction narratives which I describe as the following on my Review Policy: a healthy appreciation for Feminist Historical Fiction; including Women’s Suffragette Movements and Women’s Rights – any Historical Fiction narrative that continues the conversation for Intersectional Feminism and the pursuit of Equality for All; including but not limited to African-American, Latino and Native American women pioneers in their chosen industries or women leaders who either developed a movement or inspired forward motion for Women’s Rights
* As much as my interest in LGBTQ+ stories: Open to reading m/m, f/f and *trans narratives as I’ve read these previously, however any story which is considered inclusive to LGBTQ+ narratives are ones I am seeking out to read
Posing as a lady’s maid in 1837 New York City, Maire O’Farren must tread carefully. The upper echelons of society despise the Irish and Maire, known to her employers only as Mary Ballard, takes great care to conceal her native lilt and lineage. Nor would the household be pleased with a servant who aids her debutante’s midnight assignations with a stable groom. Least of all would they tolerate a maid who takes a stronger liking to her charge than would be deemed entirely suitable for her sex.
Maire tends to wealthy young heiress Charlotte Walden’s every whim and guards her every secret. Though it pains her, Maire even delivers her brother Seanin to her beloved’s bed each Thursday night, before shedding her clandestine persona and finding release from her frustration in the gritty underworld around Washington Square. Despite her grief, Maire soon attracts the attentions of irreverent and industrious prostitute Liddie Lawrence, who soothes Maire’s body and distracts her burning heart.
As an English baron and a red-blooded American millionaire vie for Charlotte’s affections, Seanin makes calculated moves of his own, adopting the political aspirations of his drinking companions and grappling with the cruel boundaries of class and nationality. As Seanin rises in rank in a secret society and the truth of both women’s double lives begin to unravel, Charlotte’s secrets soon grow so dangerous even Maire cannot keep them. Forced to choose between loyalty to her brother or to her lady, between respectable society or true freedom, Maire finally learns that her fate lies in her hands alone.
Places to find the book:
Published by Atria Books
on 5th March, 2019
Format: Paperback ARC
Converse via: #ThePartingGlass, #HistNov and #HistFic
+ #19thC along with #Debut19
Available Formats: Hardcover, Audiobook & Ebook
I was quite taken with the narrator of “The Parting Glass” – her accents and her ability to transition in/out of them per each new character she is voicing to life is quite wicked brill! I had hoped to have a bit of a go at listening to this lovely new release before my review went live however, Scribd didn’t have the audiobook. I listened to the sampler which happily begins at Chapter One and within its short expanse I was rather charmed with the performance by Cassandra Campbell.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: