A Kiss From Mr Fitzgerald
“She jumped out of the cab, pretending that with each step she was skipping from constellation to constellation, an astrologer learning to read the signs of her city"
I love the title. It’s clever reference to the brilliant author of The Great Gatsby got me in straight away. The story takes you to New York in the 1920s. This is one of my favourite eras. Natasha Lester is a master at taking you right into the world, the Upper East Side, Greenwich Village, and backstage at Ziegfeld’s Follies. Lester's meticulous attention to the fashion featured in the novel brings the era to life. You just want to jump into a time machine and go back in time to dance in a speak-easy, drinking fabulous gin and wearing outfits of sequins, feathers, and tassels.
Evie Lockhart is a stubborn, head-strong and determined young woman, who, unlike her sister Viola, turns her back on a society life of marriage and privilege to pursue a medical career in obstetrics. She ostracises herself further when she takes a job as a dancer in Ziegfeld’s Follies to help her pay for her medical school fees and rent. Lester is a master at weaving relevant historical events into the characters’ world. I loved learning about how difficult it was for women to train as doctors in the 1920s and the reality of hospital births of the era.
The story contains a romantic element which adds to the richness of the narrative. Every girl wants to meet their own Thomas Whitman. He certainly is the ‘cat’s pyjamas.’
Add in the jealous and jilted brother Charles and you have a novel filled with tension and pace. To add to the conflict, there’s Evie’s determination to help Mary, an orphaned child whose mother died during childbirth. The story twists and turns as you try to figure out who is the father.
Lester has created a flawed character who you can’t help but support and cheer for. Evie stands up to her conservative mother and fights for what she wants. I got emotionally invested regarding the plight of women and how they were treated in their pursuit of medical careers. The sad reality of women, such as Bea, another Follie’s dancer, who hoped to find love, or the reality that having a husband and becoming a mother was deemed the only safe option to secure a safe life.
The writing is superb with descriptions that transports you to each setting, develop powerful characters and build authentic emotions. I loved Evie’s friend, Lil. She was the perfect best friend and helped to build an authentic story.
This is a truly eloquent historical piece of fiction with a passionate love story. It is the perfect story to escape into.
If you want to know more about Natasha Lester and her other books please click here.
Happy reading 🌼