I have never been particularly interested in the latter half of the nineteenth century, in fact I've never paid it much attention at all. Victorian era sensibilities and the Comstock laws were vague wisps of history that remained from classes in high school. I think what perhaps I neglected to realize was that all these laws and social movements to foist morals upon the populace were a reaction to the actions of some pretty interesting people – Madame Restell being one example.
This book takes off like a shot from the start and plows full steam ahead through its nearly 450 pages. I spent hours reading, unable to put the book down, even in the wee hours of the morning. The subject matter is quite different from what I normally read, and likely from what most people spend their time on. Nevertheless, I very highly recommend it. I think it’s incredibly eye-opening to be able to live through the pages of this novel in a time period with so much poverty and so many uneducated individuals (to the point that so many women were entirely unaware of how their bodies functioned and where babies originated).
I thoroughly enjoyed reading Axie’s story and learned a little bit of history in the process. I think this would make a wonderful book club book to anyone looking to round out their schedule. So my recommendation? Buy this book. Or add it to your list. As soon as possible