Publisher: Amulet Books
Source: NetGalley and Publisher for review
Olivia Mead is a headstrong, independent girl—a suffragist—in an age that prefers its girls to be docile. It’s 1900 in Oregon, and Olivia’s father, concerned that she’s headed for trouble, convinces a stage mesmerist to try to hypnotize the rebellion out of her. But the hypnotist, an intriguing young man named Henri Reverie, gives her a terrible gift instead: she’s able to see people’s true natures, manifesting as visions of darkness and goodness, while also unable to speak her true thoughts out loud. These supernatural challenges only make Olivia more determined to speak her mind, and so she’s drawn into a dangerous relationship with the hypnotist and his mysterious motives, all while secretly fighting for the rights of women. Winters breathes new life into history once again with an atmospheric, vividly real story, including archival photos and art from the period throughout.My thoughts:
I've been hearing raves about this author's historical fiction. I had to try this one. It is about Olivia at the time of the suffragists. It is an important period of time and while she was light on the horrors historically that the women were put through, she was able to catch that horror within the magical qualities of Henri Reverie's hypnotism. I thought it was a great metaphor.
I think that this is a great time for this book. In a time where young women seem to think that feminism means hatred or subjugation of men which is very far from the truth. Feminism is about equality. Equal chances and equal pay. We need to show the past so we do not repeat it. For those that think we won't repeat it, I recently heard two men comment (on tv) on the bad decision America had when it made women voting legal. Ah, but now I'm digressing from the book and as you can see, it can give you a lot to think about in the present day.
I enjoyed the characters of this book. I loved following Olivia who really started knowing who she was and what she was willing to stand for. I even enjoyed her portrayal of Olivia's father. Monstrous in how he treated her, but yet you still felt an undercurrent of vulnerability. You were reminded he was also lonely and scared but you also knew he was unwilling to change.
I give this book 4 stars. I enjoyed the writing and how she presented that some people would change and others would cleave to their old way of thinking. I recommend this to young women and those that enjoy a good historical fiction with some magic woven into the story.