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Caroline

Kanata, ON, Canada | Member Since 2009

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  • Etiquette & Espionage: Finishing School, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Gail Carriger
    • Narrated By Moira Quirk
    Overall
    (1055)
    Performance
    (969)
    Story
    (975)

    Fourteen-year old Sophronia is the bane of her mother's existence. More interested in dismantling clocks and climbing trees than proper etiquette at tea - and god forbid anyone see her atrocious curtsy - Mrs. Temminnick is desperate her daughter become a proper lady. She enrolls Sophronia in Mademoiselle Geraldine's Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality.

    But little do Sophronia or her mother know that this is a school where ingenious young girls learn to finish all right - but it's a different kind of finishing.

    Lynne Phelps says: "Fans of the Parasol Protectorate, Rejoice!"
    "Charming Debut"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    3.5 starsfor this book the First.

    So very much enjoyed this debut of this new series. After reading all of the Parasol Protectorate and being particularly fond of this style I was pleasantly surprised to find some of the second generations and original cast making appearances in this novel along with a whole raft of new friends and fiends.

    The narrator was spot on with annunciation, pronunciation and pace... really added to the overall pleasure.

    Sophronia is the only wayward child of a large and relatively wealthy family. Her dear long suffering Mama finds herself at her wits end with Sophronia's lack of etiquette, grace and general gentility and sends her off to a finishing school in the unlikely hopes of having a presentable and comeoutable daughter. From the moment Sophronia leaves her family home her adventures begin, along with our own.

    The plot of this tale is not very hard to work out but this novel is really about the journey and not the destination. There are Mechanimals, dirigible schools, boys, best petticoats, salacious pistons, poorly executed curtseys, the most adorable Bumbersnoot, Soap, coal, werewolves, vampires, stuffed corsets, classes in deception and covert operations; lashings of comestibles, steam, flyway-men, lace and hats. All the trade marks of Gail Carriger are here but written for a younger audience.

    Gail's humour, sense of the ridiculous and eminently likeable characters fill these pages. Sophronia's best friend Dimity reminds one a bit of Ivy which brings a great balance to the friendship. Happily though this book has a tempo and pace of it's own and has a lot of charm and innocence and maybe just a pinch of St Trinian's about it. Bringing the fun and adventure back into reading whilst putting those annoying boys in their place.

    I think the series has a lot of potential especially as the girls grow up and I am looking forward to Book the Second.

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