Natasha Lester is one of the most generous authors in Australia. Her blog is inspiring and informative. It is this generosity, and a love of her travel updates on Facebook as she researches her novels, that inspired me to pick up Her Mother’s Secret – as much as the beautiful cover and intriguing blurb! I scored A Kiss From Mr Fitzgerald through a free iBooks promotion via Facebook. I can hardly wait for The Paris Seamstress to come out in March.
Natasha captures the glamour of the 20s – the music, dancing, fashion, cosmetics, and hope of the time. After the first world war, women had had a taste for working outside the home, and they didn’t want to give that up. It was an exciting and liberating period for women. Natasha expertly throws you back in time to experience the ride alongside her beautiful characters.
- In a time when women were just starting to break further into the work force, Leo and Evie are fierce and ambitious. They have career goals as well as romantic desires. They break boundaries and surprise society.
- The ‘villainous’ characters exist in the grey. I can’t completely hate them, I have sympathy for them, even though they flaunt their cruelty.
- The romances are realistic – the characters are flawed – there are misunderstandings, lies, half-truths, sacrifices and amazing sex.
- I love how Leo and Evie each have a bevy of supportive women friends around them.
- I loved Alice’s photo shoot, jumping forward to 1930s New York. The tension and the beauty of this scene had me seething with envy. It was delicious to imagine, and Alice’s character really captured that 19-year-old angst and anticipation.
- I adored the history – cosmetics, fashion, advertising, ballet, Ziegfeld’s Follies, a speakeasy and obstetrics.
- Technically, Natasha is a wonderful storyteller. The novels have the right balance of setting the historical scene and keeping the story moving apace, dialogue and description, career goals and romance. The plots are compelling, and the characters are memorable and inspiring.
There is so much more about these novels that I could say and rave about, but really, you should just go read them for yourselves. Consider yourself forewarned though – they are un-put-down-able.