I was sent this book in November from Allen & Unwin in exchange for an honest review. It was published on the 23rd of November.
Hey Ho Bookaholics!
I am back Bookaholics, and there is no better way to make a comeback than to upload a review on one of my favourite books of all time! These are the hardest reviews to write because I want to just ramble on and on about all the good bits that I loved so so much, but I can’t; because I want you all to read it and I don’t want to spoil the book for any of you!
Just so you know, I received this book – and many others – from Allen & Unwin Publishers and the books I have been receiving them have been exceptional. The storylines becoming increasingly more captivating with every book I read, and it’s becoming harder and harder to chose which book I want to call my favourite (so far it’s between this one and The Edge Of Everything).
I don’t believe I have anything else to say other than please have an open mind while reading my review and do not let the blurb or my review deter you from reading this book as your opinion is the only one that matters. Also the writing is the most beautiful thing I have ever read!
‘The creative sisterhood of Little Women, the social scandal of Edith Wharton and the courtship mishaps of Jane Austen . . . The Fifth Avenue Artists Society is a delightful, and at times touching, tale of Gilded Age society and creative ambition with an inspiring heroine.’ New York Daily News
The Bronx, 1891. Virginia Loftin, the boldest of four artistic sisters in a family living in genteel poverty, knows what she wants most: to become a celebrated novelist despite her gender, and to marry Charlie, the boy next door and her first love.
When Charlie instead proposes to a woman from a wealthy family, Ginny is devastated; shutting out her family, she holes up in her room and turns their story into fiction, obsessively rewriting a better ending. Though she works with newfound intensity, literary success eludes her-until she attends an elite salon hosted at her brother’s friend John Hopper’s Fifth Avenue mansion. Among painters, musicians, actors, and writers, Ginny returns to herself, even blooming under the handsome, enigmatic John’s increasingly romantic attentions.
But just as she and her siblings have become swept up in the society, Charlie throws himself back into her path, and Ginny learns that the salon’s bright lights may be obscuring some dark shadows. Torn between two worlds that aren’t quite as she’d imagined them, Ginny will realise how high the stakes are for her family, her writing, and her chance at love.
In this review I’ll be breaking the book down into 3 parts: plot/storyline, writing, and characters.
To be honest, I was quite skeptical going into this book because this is the first historical fiction book I have read in a very long time. I would never have usually picked up a book of this genre but after reading it, I found that I want to start reading more Historical Fiction novels.
As well as the writing, the plot of this story was compelling. The narrative, set in any other time period would not have worked out so perfectly, as the conservatism of the time period and courtship rituals performed added suspense to the story as the love between two characters remained a secret as they did not rush into relationships like is commonly seen in modern day romance novels. This displays character development as time goes on and gives the reader a chance to see how a certain character acts around others.
The foreboding of art by both husbands and the standards of women in society made rebellion possible and more appealing to those artistic souls who, like the Loftins who wanted to make a name for themselves in their respective art field.
The writing was absolutely amazing, and I know I’ve said this for a few books now but 2017 seems to be the year of reading books with beautiful writing. This book come in with the 3 most beautifully written books I have ever read; the list includes, The Edge of Everything by Jeff Giles, and Nevernight by Jay Kristoff (in no particular order).
It takes a lot to make me cry when reading a book, but the way Callaway wrote with such raw emotion, she stripped my heart apart so that when I reached the end of the novel, I broke down in tears, unable to let go of the book and forget about the amount of raw emotion the characters displayed.
If not written properly, this book would’ve seemed like a cheesy Wattpad romance novel written by a teenager, completely lacking the emotion that Callaway so strongly included.
The main character Virginia Loftin or Ginny as she is known to others possesses the deep set qualities of selflessness, humility, and love. Her selflessness made her my new literary role model. Every woman should admire her resilience and persistence to pursue her dream and become an author of a book that all women will read and admire. Ginny aims to better herself by exploring new avenues outside the social norms and even when rejected, always picks herself up to try again and again, finally reaching her ultimate goal.
My first impression of Charlie was that he is selfish. His first main appearance in the novel painted him as a selfish person and from then on, as all the other people in the novel hated him for his actions, you begin to become influenced by their hate that there is l belief that the young cheesy boy could actually be so deceptive.
The second oldest sister, May had a deep passion for the arts like the rest of the sisters, and being the first to marry, found a man who shared her passion rather than suppress it like men did to their wives during this time.
I hope you enjoyed my review and I also hope it convinced you to read this amazing book!
Stay Happy, Healthy, and have a Lovely Week!!
Thank You so much for reading and I hope to see you all back here again Wednesday 🙂
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