The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy
Author Mackenzie Lee
Publisher Katherin Tegen Books | 2018
historical fiction | young adult
A year after an accidentally whirlwind grand tour with her brother Monty, Felicity Montague has returned to England with two goals in mind—avoid the marriage proposal of 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 window of opportunity opens—a doctor she idolizes is marrying an old friend of hers in Germany. Felicity believes if she could meet this man he could change her future, but she has no money of her own 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 leads them from the German countryside to the promenades of Zurich to secrets lurking beneath the Atlantic. (from Goodreads)
This review is spoiler-freeee! 🙂
My first audiobook of the year! Woop! This book is so much fun. I really loved Gentleman’s Guide when I read it last year and was super psyched when I finished and saw that this sequel was on its way! I loved Felicity in the first book and in this one, she definitely does not disappoint. She’s just as fun of a narrator as Monty was, and this book is just a wonderful mixture of girl power, friendship, and high sea adventure!
Let me preface the rest of this by saying that I was… confused when I started this book. For some reason that I absolutely cannot remember for the life of me, when I read Gentleman’s Guide I got the vibe that Felicity and Scipio were, like… gonna be a thing? So when I first added this to my TBR, I was like- petticoats and PIRACY?! That means I get to spend a whole other book with Scipio! Yay! And that… did NOT happen. Please someone tell me I’m not crazy to have thought this. I can’t remember if there were even ANY signs whatsoever that they might be romantically connected, but now I just feel kinda dumb to have thought it, haha. HOWEVER, this misunderstanding did not diminish this book for me at all. I still loved it!
“You deserve to be here. You deserve to exist. You deserve to take up space in this world of men.”
Felicity is an AMAZING character. She is strong, determined, intelligent, and just an all-around joy to read about. There were so many laugh out loud moments and you can’t help but want to love and protect her (though she can definitely do that herself). She starts out this book so, completely done with the path her life is currently on and is dead-set on finding her way into a medical career despite all of the rejection she’s faced. She’s willing to do almost anything to make that happen with almost no regard for others (at first), to the point that she did a few things that made me go, omg WHY are you doing that?! Mean! But she’s still so lovely that I forgive her for them.
One of the strongest factors of this book is the friendship between Felicity and Johanna. I adored Johanna, who is such a kind-hearted, loving and fearless woman and I want nothing but good things for her. She wasn’t afraid to call Felicity out on her bullshit and stand up for herself in times of turmoil. The two girls share such a great bond and there were so many amazing, wholesome moments that just warm your entire heart. This book truly feels like some kind of love letter to feminism and women and it’s so, so fantastic to read about.
“Monty does an exasperatingly dramatic throwing of his hands over his eyes, and exclaims, ‘Dear God, Felicity Montague, keep your clothes on!'”
OK, on to Monty & Percy! I frickin’ LOVE Monty. Every single moment with him was absolutely incredible and it was like picking up right where we left off. The relationship between Monty and Felicity was one of the high points of Gentleman’s Guide, and that is still true for the sequel. They are so funny when they are sniping with each other but they also have such a great fondness for each other and I adore them so so much. Percy was great, as always, and there’s just so many great friendships and relationships in this book that I love them all.
Overall, this was a fantastic read. I was so happy while reading it, though there were a few chunks towards the middle of the book that felt a teeny bit slow. Lady’s Guide was such a fun, thrilling book and I would happily dive back into the Montague siblings’ world again and again if Mackenzie would write more! 🙂