Book Review: A Kiss From Mr Fitzgerald
Hachette Australia, 2016
It’s 1922 in the Manhattan of gin, jazz and prosperity. Women wear makeup and hitched hemlines – and enjoy a new freedom to vote and work. Not so Evelyn Lockhart, forbidden from pursuing her passion: to become one of the first female doctors.
Chasing her dream will mean turning her back on the only life she knows: her competitive sister, Viola; her conservative parents; and the childhood best friend she is expected to marry, Charlie.
And if Evie does fight Columbia University’s medical school for acceptance, how will she support herself? So when there’s a casting call for the infamous late-night Ziegfeld Follies on Broadway, will Evie find the nerve to audition? And if she does, what will it mean for her fledgling relationship with Upper East Side banker Thomas Whitman, a man Evie thinks she could fall in love with, if only she lived a life less scandalous?
I wish I could give this book 6 stars on Goodreads, or even 10, but as the program is, I shall have to settle for a solid 5/5. When Evie Lockhart sets her mind to becoming an obstetrician, despite the scruples of mid-1920s New York telling her it wasn't possible, she also sets off on a journey which I think will capture the hearts and imaginations of all readers. Evie is a true heroine-- determined, self-reliant, unapologetic but kind-hearted. While love may be in the cards for her, Evie's happily ever after is of her own making, and after closing this book I find myself wishing I had a little of Evie's mettle for myself.
A Kiss From Mr Fitzgerald is peopled with fascinating characters, and set in the most sumptuous of New York locations. It features laugh out loud prohibition-era turns of phrase, whip-smart dialogue and a well researched glimpse of obstetrics and medicine in the Jazz Age. It will have you laughing, crying, and reaching for your copy of The Great Gatsby.
Natasha Lester has outdone herself.