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Book Review | A Curious Beginning

I like the premise of this book, which is what led me to requesting it, however, it fell short for me.

23160039In her thrilling new series, the New York Times bestselling author of the Lady Julia Grey mysteries, returns once more to Victorian England…and introduces intrepid adventuress Veronica Speedwell.

London, 1887. As the city prepares to celebrate Queen Victoria’s golden jubilee, Veronica Speedwell is marking a milestone of her own. After burying her spinster aunt, the orphaned Veronica is free to resume her world travels in pursuit of scientific inquiry—and the occasional romantic dalliance. As familiar with hunting butterflies as she is fending off admirers, Veronica wields her butterfly net and a sharpened hatpin with equal aplomb, and with her last connection to England now gone, she intends to embark upon the journey of a lifetime.

But fate has other plans, as Veronica discovers when she thwarts her own abduction with the help of an enigmatic German baron with ties to her mysterious past. Promising to reveal in time what he knows of the plot against her, the baron offers her temporary sanctuary in the care of his friend Stoker—a reclusive natural historian as intriguing as he is bad-tempered. But before the baron can deliver on his tantalizing vow to reveal the secrets he has concealed for decades, he is found murdered. Suddenly Veronica and Stoker are forced to go on the run from an elusive assailant, wary partners in search of the villainous truth.

This book was a DNF for me. I read it to 20% before I had to set it aside. I hate setting books aside, but I just couldn’t get into this one.

I did not care for Veronica; it seemed like the author had taken a modern woman and placed her back in Victorian times, with all her modern ideas and sensibilities. This would be fine if this were a time travel novel, like say, Outlander, but this is not that type of story. I’m all for having a strong female character, with feminist ideas, but it has to be historically accurate. Raybourn has her character travelling around the world by herself like a modern woman would, and having casual liaisons without any societal consequences. That just wouldn’t have been the case for women back then.

If the dialogue between the characters had been better (it bored me to tears), and it had been more historically accurate, I would have  enjoyed it more.


My Rating: 2/5 stars

*I received an arc copy of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*

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