The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy

Finished The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy by Mackenzi Lee. I received a copy for review at ALA.

Summary (from Goodreads):

“Felicity Montague is through with pretending she prefers society parties to books about bone setting—or that she’s not smarter than most people she knows, or that she cares about anything more than her dream of becoming a doctor.

A year after an accidentally whirlwind tour of Europe, which she spent evading highwaymen and pirates with her brother Monty, Felicity has returned to England with two goals in mind—avoid the marriage proposal of Callum Doyle, a lovestruck suitor from Edinburgh; and enroll in medical school. However, her intellect and passion will never be enough in the eyes of the administrators, who see men as the sole guardians of science.

But then a small window of hope opens. Doctor Alexander Platt, an eccentric physician that Felicity idolizes, is looking for research assistants, and Felicity is sure that someone as forward thinking as her hero would be willing to take her on. However, Platt is in Germany, preparing to wed Felicity’s estranged childhood friend Johanna. Not only is Felicity reluctant to opening old wounds, she also has no money to make the trip.

Luckily, a mysterious young woman is willing to pay Felicity’s way, so long as she’s allowed to travel with Felicity disguised as her maid. In spite of her suspicions, Felicity agrees, but once the girl’s true motives are revealed, Felicity becomes part of a perilous quest that will lead her from the German countryside to the promenades of Zurich to secrets lurking beneath the Atlantic.”

This is the book we need right now. This is especially the book I need right now. I’m hoping this is only the start of a long chronicle of Felicity Montague’s adventures.

Felicity is brilliant and funny and perfect. (OK, maybe not—she’s very prickly and she has no patience for things and people that are beneath her and frankly, that’s a lot of things and people.) I am in love with her, which is very unfortunate. She’s (a) long dead, (b) far too young for me—and also, I guess, too old, because again, LONG DEAD and (c) fictional.

And this is the story of her quest to become a doctor…which is incredibly difficult because she is (a) a woman and (b) living in a time where women were expected to be pretty and dumb. Things are better now but they’re not where they should be. I wonder if Felicity would be happy or discouraged. (Probably both.)

Highly recommended.



2 thoughts on “The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy

  1. Yay, I’m so happy to hear that this book is recommended! Gentleman’s Guide was pretty good, but Felicity seemed like such an interesting character that she deserved her own story. Were there also LGBTQ themes like in Gentleman’s Guide?

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