STARRED REVIEW
October 2018

A Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy

By Mackenzi Lee

In this sequel to Mackenzi Lee’s Stonewall Honor-winning novel, The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue, Monty’s younger sister, the prickly and ambitious Felicity Montague, embarks on her own adventure.

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In this sequel to Mackenzi Lee’s Stonewall Honor-winning novel, The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue, Monty’s younger sister, the prickly and ambitious Felicity Montague, embarks on her own adventure.

After being denied entrance to numerous medical colleges in London because she’s a woman, Felicity hatches a plan to crash her ex-best friend Johanna Hoffman’s wedding in Germany along with the help of Simmaa “Sim” Aldajah—a black Muslim girl with access to a ship. Once there, Felicity will plead her case to the groom-to-be, the renowned Dr. Alexander Platt, in hopes she can study under him on his next expedition. But when the bride ditches the wedding, Felicity and Sim chase her to Zurich. They discover that Johanna’s deceased mother, a naturalist, was working toward a discovery that most men would kill for, including Dr. Platt.

Felicity and Johanna team up with Sim, who admits she’s actually a pirate from northern Africa, and the trio travels to the Mediterranean coast, where they encounter rival pirate fleets, ruthless Englishmen and fantastical beasts. How are they ever to get out of this alive?

Fans of this novel’s predecessor will be delighted to know that Monty and Percy do make cameos in A Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy, but they are not the focus of the book, nor should they be. Felicity’s story is a feminist feast that challenges societal norms and forgoes all romance, which is unconventional, albeit refreshing, in young adult literature. Readers will do themselves a disservice if they don’t explore the author’s note, as they’ll learn how women such as Felicity have always contributed to scientific exploration through their inexhaustible persistence and spirit.

 

This article was originally published in the October 2018 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

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