This book was a pure delight from beginning to end. High class escorts, nouveau riche merchants, madams, backstabbings, broken hearts, mended hearts, parties, an angry mob, pining, memaids. What more could you ask from a historical novel taking place in the late 18th century? The characters are so well-rounded I found myself cringing for them in their embarassment and cheering for them in their triumph. The writing is so atmospheric it feels absolutely authentic. I can't remember the last time I enjoyed reading a book as much I enjoyed reading this one. The only way to describe this book is as an absolute romp.
The Mermaid and Mrs. Hancock by Imogen Hermes Gowar ($28.99*, Harper), recommended by Union Ave Books, Knoxville, TN.