Thursday, June 25, 2009

Review: A Proper Education for Girls: a novel by: Elaine di Rollo

Where I got it: the library
Rating: 3 stars (recommended but not a quick read)
Cover Rating: 3 stars (the photo and illustration effect is neat and relevant but it's not super eye catching although I do enjoy it.)
Genre: Adult Fiction
Publication Date: April 14, 2009
Publisher: Crown Publishing Group

Two girls left from a set of triplets in which one girl died young. They have become engaged in their father's collection which takes up every inch of the house. Their father does not let anyone leave this house without his permission. However, one sister, manages to escape after she disgraces herself and her father is forced to marry her off to a missionary who takes her to India. The other girl, Alice, however, is left behind. Her father sort of thinks of her as part of his collection after the nasty Dr. Cattermole points out that she is less than lady-like. Lillian (the girl in India) knows she needs to get Alice out of there, before something awful befalls her.

I enjoyed this book, even though it took me quite awhile to get through. The ideas seemed fresh and intriguing (twins, a bizarre collection, India, England, Sexism, new medical procedures, hermaphrodites, photography, uprisings). I really enjoyed that it switched back and forth between Alice and Lillian's point of views every few chapters. This definitely kept you reading because they would switch at the height of excitement. This book dealt largely with the sexism that was very present in England around the early days of petticoats and such. Elaine di Rollo did extensive reading and research when writing this book and it makes the book that much better as an insight into the (sometimes crazy) things that people believe and how they acted. I recommend this book to people who are looking for and interesting almost factual type of read. This book does contain exciting parts, action, adventures, little mysteries. I did not find it a fast read however, it was still quite enjoyable.

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