A Kiss From Mr Fitzgerald by Natasha Lester

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How to buy it: Paperback, QBD the bookshop $29.99

When can I get my hands on it: Now!

What am I in for: General literature, 1920s era, feminism, romance

A jumble of coffeehouses, tea rooms, fish shops and grocers draped in sagging awnings declaring the name- usually Italian- of the proprietor and what goods one might find through the doors, everything from Pizza! to headache powders. And in the midst of it all were wonderful buildings like the Jefferson Market Courthouse, a Victorian Gothic confection whose spired tower rose above the Village, like a fairytale palace that had taken a wrong turn but was having too much fun in bohemia to return to its royal duties.

I truly loved this book. I finished in two days flat. I only put the book down to eat, sleep and go to my day job. I have always had a fascination with the 1920s era and so I leaped into reading this novel. Plus the author is Australian! Go us!

‘A Kiss from Fitz’ was perfectly constructed: it had all the themes that I enjoy; feminism, romance, a sassy and strong female, and the story didn’t move too slow either. It had everything!

I really could go on about this book, but I’ll just start with a basic summary. The story opens with a young frustrated woman, Evie, who lives in Concord, a country area outside of New York City. She has trouble fitting in with her sister’s and mother’s wishes of being the proper genteel lady of society. She wants an education and cannot picture herself getting married, settling down and sitting around the fireplace embroidering hankies for her husband. After witnessing a horrific birth where the woman dies, she decides to break free of her family’s conservative lifestyle and go to New York to study as an obstetrician.

 As we move through the story, we are faced with the challenges of being a woman in a man’s world in the 1920s. But our lovely leading lady refuses to settle for anything other than what she is passionate about. A tutor who has offered to help her study for the pre-med test advises her:

 ‘You’ll need to keep that level of passion if you want to succeed. And you’ll need to study harder than any man, because the only way you’ll get what you want is to be twice as good.’

 I love how Evie was so headstrong and passionate and the love story between her and Thomas was beautiful and romantic. He was her savior but not so fairytale-esque that he took her away from her little room in a boarding house and spirited her away to his mansion. He was happy to let her be, because even though it was hard for her at times, she was happy and it was want she wanted to do for herself. I think he knew that it was important that she fought for her independence against the odds. There was also the perfect villain in Thomas’ brother, Charles. He made me grit my teeth every time he appeared. You wanted him to get what he deserved and leave Evie alone. Man, he made me so angry!

My favourite part about this book was the feminism woven throughout Evie’s story. Evie struggled with her conservative family, and the society that she grew up in, and even though there was a change in the air in 1920s, women still struggled with having their own freedom and independence.

 All in all, even though this story had some heavy moments, this book was filled with a lot of fun. I mean; it is set in the ‘20s – in New York!

Amy xx

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