Once upon a bed and long ago, there lay a maid. And the maid had to huff and to puff, and to puff and to huff, until finally she gave birth to a small bundle of a child.
The Good: I loved that the author wove historical figures with fictional characters to create the story. I was also a huge fan of Bessie, Lucinda’s nurse, she was perpetually cheerful, loyal, and full of love for Lucinda, no matter how misguided her charge was at times. I also love that Bessie was Mother Goose! I would have loved to have more of her thoughts of the goings on of the book. I also loved the second half of the book where we see Lucinda grow a lot more and become a talented successful young woman.
The Bad: I spent the first half of this book torn between sympathy and irritation. Lucinda had been dealt a bad hand and dealt with bullying and unwanted male attention as a young girl. She also was naive to the point of disbelief. She fancies herself in love after a night of passion with a man and follows him to France at the edge of a war!
“The reason I am glad that I came is that you seem to have so little…” “So little what?” “Sense”
The men in this book leave much to be desired. They are indifferent or cruel or downright malicious. From the age of 15 she is pursued relentlessly by her cad of an uncle who soothes his conscious that she’s not REALLY his niece afterall. Trigger warning: we see this same uncle lure Lucinda to him at midnight and force himself upon her. And he’s just the first man Lucinda encounters that cares more about the comfort her body can give them than the woman they are accosting. There are very few men in this book who don’t look at Lucinda as a toy to be used and discarded which is a very disheartening view.
“Lucinda we’ll call you,” she said solemnly- a name that to her epitomized everything that was grand, noble and expensive.
At the end of the day, I would give this book a solid 3 stars. The second half of the book is more interesting because we really see Lucinda start to grow. I would recommend this to anyone who enjoy fairy tale retellings and the struggle of women to find their place within the world.
Look for Slipper to release April 14th! Preorder your copy today!
I received a free copy of this ebook through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own and unbiased.