The Lady's Guide to Petticoats and Piracy

449p. HarperCollins/Katherine Tegen Bks. Oct. 2018. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780062795328. POP
OrangeReviewStarGr 9 Up–A year after the events of The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue, Felicity Montague is wallowing in self-pity and boredom. Countless visits and petitions to Edinburgh's hospitals and universities to obtain an education have proved fruitless. Felicity runs away to London to meet up with Monty and Percy, where she discovers that her idol, the famed Dr. Alexander Platt, is looking for research assistants—and is much more likely to hire a woman, given his own unorthodox path to his medical license. The only problem in meeting him is that he is currently in Germany about to marry her ex-best friend from childhood, Johanna Hoffman. Luckily, a secretive and mysterious young woman named Sim is willing to pay Felicity's way. Things don't go according to plan, and Felicity, Johanna, and Sim are drawn into a continent-spanning chase that leads them to a remote island on the Atlantic and a secret beyond their wildest dreams. Felicity's sarcastic wit is entertaining, and she grows as she comes to terms with the realization that there is more than one way to be taken seriously, and what it means to be a strong woman. Gender inequality during the 18th-century is thrown into sharper focus, and readers can feel Felicity's many frustrations emanate from the page. Lee also touches on different definitions of femininity, and hints that Felicity may be asexual. These timely themes are set against another thrilling, swashbuckling romp across Europe and Africa. The author's extensive notes serve to shed some light on the time period and her inspirations for the characters.
VERDICT An incredible, must-have follow-up full of old characters and new, blood and guts, and a delightful barrage of sarcasm.

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