I requested to read this book via Netgalley. My thanks to the publisher for approving my request. This review forms my honest opinion.
Abandoned by her parents in favour of a sea view, middle class Georgiana Ellers has moved to a new town to live with her dreary aunt and uncle. At a particularly dull dinner party, she meets the enigmatic Frances Campbell, a wealthy socialite and enchanting member of the in-crowd.
Through Frances and her friends, Georgiana is introduced to a new world of wild parties, drunken debauchery, mysterious young men with strangely alluring hands, and the sparkling upper echelons of Regency society.
But high society isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, and the price of entry might be more than Georgiana is willing to pay . . .
I wasn’t quite sure what to expect with this one, but I was intrigued and had to read. A huge fan of both Bridgerton and Fleabag, which the promo materials likens it to, this definitely ticked some boxes, but I wasn’t sure how such a blend would pull off in novel form.
It’s very much a hybrid form, set in the Regency era but with very relevant, modern issues; alcohol, drugs, sex, consent, and peer pressure being just a few, but they’re not just plonked into a historical era, they are placed carefully amongst the protocols and etiquette of the time. Even the language is very Austen-esque and really well done.
The main character, Georgiana – a young woman without many prospects is thrilled to be taken under the wing of Frances Campbell. Dazzlingly rich and influential, she and her friends open doors for Georgiana, introducing her to wild parties, men, excesses of alcohol and drugs.
I did feel in terms of maturity it was often more Mean Girls than Fleabag, and would liken it more to a coming of age type story in many respects. Whilst Georgiana isn’t particularly likeable throughout most of it due to the choices she makes, I must admit that I saw an awful lot of my younger self in her and this did endear me to her. Much of the time I felt rather motherly towards her and wanted to sit her down with a cup of tea for a chat!
There are darkly comic moments throughout, and it’s a VERY entertaining read, one I found that I binge read when I picked it up. It was so easy to quickly get into that I found myself dipping in and out throughout the day. A fantastic holiday read, that whilst it many not be life altering in the reading, it is an absolute ton of fun to read!