|The Lodger by Louisa Treger|
|Category: Historical Fiction|
|Reviewer: Vikki Patis|
|Summary: A writer writing about writers writing. What more could a reader, a book reviewer, a tentative writer and lover of words want from a book? Not forgetting the setting – England, early 1900s, clear class divisions and social expectations – and the characters – fascinating, colourful, and above all, real. This book has everything I look for in a story.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 272||Date: May 2015|
|Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books|
|External links: Author's website|
A writer writing about writers writing. What more could a reader, a book reviewer, a tentative writer and lover of words want from a book? Not forgetting the setting – England, early 1900s, clear class divisions and social expectations – and the characters – fascinating, colourful, and above all, real. This book has everything I look for in a story.
I’m not usually one for romance, but this novel explores a different kind of love. Relationships forbidden by society, a society full of crippling constraints, the oppression of sexuality and restrictive gender roles. This is the kind of romance I like to explore. And, although this theme is by no means unique, I never grow tired of it, as there is always more to learn, more to uncover, and more to say.
We find our protagonist, Dorothy Richardson, living just above the poverty line, struggling to make ends meet and find her way in the world. After meeting H.G. Wells, she finds herself thrust into a world of seduction, shame, and sexuality. This exploration of sexuality is fascinating, as Richardson discovers that her feelings for another woman, a fiery Suffragist, are more than just friendly. The Lodger details not only Dorothy’s quest to find her place as a woman, but also as a writer.
Treger writes with a steady hand. Her prose is marvellous, and she slowly trickles information into the readers’ hungry mouth, a style I very much enjoy. I love leaping into a story, feeling as if I’ve arrived late to a party, and slowly uncovering the mystery, peeling away the layer of the characters, their circumstances, their emotions. This is very much the set-up in The Lodger, and so this is one of the reasons this book is precisely my cup of tea. A triumphant debut.
Further reading might include Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley.
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