I’m not sure where to start with this one. For starters, nothing about this general plot of this story was surprising. Girl appears to make mistake, girl has to learn how to stand on her own two feet, girl realizes that she didn’t make a mistake, girl is offered a job back… etc etc. That being said, I loved every moment of it. I loved the image of Samantha walking blindly onto a train only to end up interviewing for a housemaid position. There was something comforting to her putting herself back together, or rather, watching her grow into the person that she was meant to be. In a world where hustle and bustle is everywhere, it’s easy to forget how hard it can be to take things slow and to take the time to sew a button on yourself.
One of the things that I found interesting was that when Samantha’s life is a mess, so is her work space. True, she had a lot of things going for her when she was a lawyer, but she didn’t have a life. She didn’t have time to do anything, much less hire a milk man. When she ran away from Carter Spink and took a new job, she couldn’t even cook dinner, much less turn on a washing machine. As Samantha began to become the person she was meant to be, or blossom as her neighbor put it, her life and the world around her became less messy. This is an interesting visual to provide the reader, along with the sharp contrast between how Samantha physically looks at the beginning and end of the novel.
Additionally, it was interesting to read about how the press saw Samantha’s decision to remain a housemaid instead of going back to be a lawyer. How it seemed to be telling the world that a woman belongs in a kitchen or that they can’t handle the work force, when in reality feminism should focus on supporting her choice. She had the option to do what she wanted, and she made a choice. It’s always hard to read/listen to women being unsupportive of one another.
That being said, it also made it funny to read about the media trying to get her to pose “tastefully” in a french maid costume — a direct nod against feminism. After all, would her story make the news if she had been a man?
This book also offers excellent life lessons along the way:
- A mistake isn’t a mistake unless it can’t be put right
- You don’t always have to know who your are, sometimes it’s enough just to know what to do next.
- You will never get your youth back.
I found March’s book club book while perusing a list of books that NPR has mentioned curated by my local library. The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi is the first book in a multi-part series (the second book is slated to be published this coming September and book three has been given a nod to). It will be interesting to see if this book inspires me to look forward to a second novel or if the first one gives me enough of a taste to feel comfortable moving on to a different story.
No one believes in them. But soon no one will forget them.
It’s 1889. The city is on the cusp of industry and power, and the Exposition Universelle has breathed new life into the streets and dredged up ancient secrets. Here, no one keeps tabs on dark truths better than treasure-hunter and wealthy hotelier Séverin Montagnet-Alarie. When the elite, ever-powerful Order of Babel coerces him to help them on a mission, Séverin is offered a treasure that he never imagined: his true inheritance.
To hunt down the ancient artifact the Order seeks, Séverin calls upon a band of unlikely experts: An engineer with a debt to pay. A historian banished from his home. A dancer with a sinister past. And a brother in arms if not blood.
Together, they will join Séverin as he explores the dark, glittering heart of Paris. What they find might change the course of history–but only if they can stay alive.