My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Last year I borrowed a book from the library called, In the Shadow of Blackbirds and I loved it so much that I shortly bought my own copy and also purchased this one. And boy was it awesome! I just love this author's writing style.
Olivia Mead lives in 1900 and is out celebrating her birthday with some friends by attending a hypnotism show. The hypnotist takes her on stage and performs such an amazing trick that everyone starts to know her as the hypnotised girl, and a wealthy boy from school even takes notice of her. But when her father finds out, he hires Henri Reverie to perform more hypnosis to shake the rebellion out of Olivia.
The effects aren't nice, but they also open her eyes to show how the people around her really look under the surface. She develops a sometimes horrifying vision of how monstrous some of the people around her really are. She also develops a friendship with Henry and become even more determined to be heard and given the same opportunities as men.
Wow. This book totally hooked me in. The characters are interesting, intriguing, and some were despicable.
I loved Olivia's passion for life and her endless pursuit for education and adventure. No matter how much her father tried to squash her dreams, she never gave up. And she was so nice about everything. Even something as seemingly simple (to a modern woman, at least) as getting a pair of bloomers to ride a bike was something she wanted so deeply the mere thought of such a freedom excited her. It was sweet and innocent, and so moving. I also like how she was obsessed with the book Dracula and it became a basis for so much of the imagery around her.
I thought Henry was also such a wonderful character. A young man with a freaky talent who not only cares about his sister, but considers women to be equals. He was such a sweetheart.
This story was wonderful, but it also made me angry. It focused on the struggles of the suffragettes, and everything they tried to do so women could be given the right to vote. Some of the things they went through were horrifying. And because of their fight, we have so many rights today. It just pains me that a century later, we still don't have total equality. Yeah, this book sure stirs up some stuff.
I also need to mention how beautiful this edition is: the hardcover, the dust jacket, the font, crisp pages, the historical pictures and facts.
Yep. I LOVED this book. It's a total keeper!