Review: Exit the Actress

Why I Picked It: I have been reading author Priya Parmar's blog for probably two years, it's so exciting to connect with a writer while they are writing and get to see a book published.  This book is getting rave reviews!

The Manic Mommies Book Club will be discussing this book with the author on May 18th.  If you would like to read with us, watch for a book giveaway to be announced later today, on the Manic Mommies website.

Synopsis:  While selling oranges in the Theatre Royal, Covent Garden, sweet and sprightly Ellen "Nell" Gwyn impresses the theater’s proprietors with a wit and sparkle that belie her youth and poverty. She quickly earns a place in the company, narrowly avoiding the life of prostitution to which her sister has already succumbed. As her roles evolve from supporting to starring, the scope of her life broadens as well. Soon Ellen is dressed in the finest fashions, charming the theatrical, literary, and royal luminaries of Restoration England. Ellen grows up on the stage, experiencing first love and heartbreak and eventually becoming the mistress of Charles II. Despite his reputation as a libertine, Ellen wholly captures his heart—and he hers—but even the most powerful love isn’t enough to stave off the gossip and bitter court politics that accompany a royal romance. Telling the story through a collection of vibrant seventeenth-century voices ranging from Ellen’s diary to playbills, letters, gossip columns, and home remedies, Priya Parmar brings to life the story of an endearing and delightful heroine.

Type: Historical Fiction

Quick Take: First let me say I adore reading books written in letters, journal entries, and articles.  It's a fun twist to the reading experience. 

Ellen is a sweet young girl caught up in her families fall.  Her father has died and her mother loves to drink, her sister... well...I really enjoyed her sister throughout the novel.  While reading about Ellen's rise to fame, I enjoyed the history lesson.  Priya is a beautiful writer. 

I had plans to meet with Priya in February, I'm sorry I wasn't able to make this happen (I was in Australia when she was in NYC).  If you enjoy historical fiction, you will love this book.

Rating: 4.5/5 stars
Source: Review copy & (I purchased the audio to listen while walking the dog)
Challenge: Teresa's Audiobook Challange

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