One of the most frustrating parts about reading historical fiction is trying to conceive the reality of just how much women had stacked up against them through the ages, on so many levels. One of the most exhilarating parts is watching the old attitudes buckle beneath the determined new, and “Bloomsbury Girls” does this in the most delightful way. Three women working at a century-old bookstore for far less pay and say than the male employees, each with their own personal reasons—even agendas—for being there, must find a way to even the playing field and be heard against seemingly impossible odds. That strength eventually emerges from a wonderfully unexpected sisterhood, and becomes even more exciting as more and more literary superstars of the time (Daphne Du Maurier, Peggy Guggenheim, Samuel Beckett) join in the fun. Through superior research and brilliant creativity, Ms Jenner deftly crafted intriguing, well-rounded, relatable characters, each with their own secrets and challenges, loves and fears, and I was deeply invested in every one of them. As I’ve said before, the easiest thing for an author to create is a caricature, but Ms Jenner did exactly the opposite, revealing more reasons to understand and love them in every page. A delightful, heartening story that I recommend to all historical fiction lovers!
Order Bloomsbury Girls here.