“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife”. Jane Austen summed things up well for the menfolk but the question remains, “What is to become of a single, middle class woman living in New York in the roaring twenties?” The answer to that can be found in the third novel by Australian author, Natasha Lester where she writes about a strong and inspiring heroine who took the road less travelled.
Evie Lockhart is the star of A Kiss from Mr. Fitzgerald, a historic romance novel set in the same era as The Great Gatsby. It’s a fictional drama that feels honest and authentic thanks to a series of complex and well-sketched out characters (and in some respects, Lockhart reminds me of Elizabeth Bennet). Evie is a lady who is determined to break down a few social barriers and prejudices so she can realise her dream of becoming New York’s first female obstetrician. The fact that she also supports herself by dancing as part of the Ziegfeld Follies on Broadway is remarkable.
The story is one you can easily imagine as a film. The writing is evocative and draws together a heady mix of speakeasy bars, gin and jazz. The costumes also sound beautiful and in one case even include a gorgeous little Chanel number. But A Kiss from Mr. Fitzgerald is more than just a pretty face, it also manages to have both style and substance.
There are a number of interesting threads to this story. At the outset it seems that the conservative Lockhart will be forced into a life of tea, sewing and looking after her wealthy husband. But the fact she eschews this cosy life of luxury for some hard toil in order to fulfil her own aspirations is just fabulous. The twists and turns in the plot also keep things exciting and you will be rooting for Lockhart every step of the way. She is an amazing heroine who was well ahead of her time.
A Kiss from Mr. Fitzgerald is a well-researched and exquisitely-written piece of historic fiction. The story is an inspiring and relatable one that will make you stop and appreciate that you’re living in the 21st century. In all, this is an intelligent and sensitive tale that is strong enough in depth, character and feeling to be considered a classic love story.
***Please note: a free copy of this book was given to the writer through a Beauty & Lace giveaway. To read the original review on that website please visit: http://bookgirl.beautyandlace.net/book-club-a-kiss-from-mr-fitzgerald