I mean, this is the first time it’s actually happened to me, seeing as how I’m picky as all hell, but I could get used to it real easy.
The first four 5-star reads were, of course, volumes one through four of SAGA, which we talked about last week. This week I shall do my best to say cogent (yet enthusiastic) things about THE GIRLS AT THE KINGFISHER CLUB, Genevieve Valentine’s non-magical retelling of “The Twelve Dancing Princesses.”
Valentine transports the story to 1920s New York, where Jo Hamilton does everything in her power to help her eleven younger sisters lead a halfway decent life. It’s far from easy, given how their social climber of a father confines his daughters to the upper floors of his town house lest anyone see how terribly he failed in his quest for an heir. The girls aren't allowed visitors. They can't go out. They can't even purchase anything beyond the bare necessities, all ordered via catalogue and so guaranteed to disappoint upon arrival.
In a moment of desperation, Jo breaks her father's rules and takes the eldest among them out for a secret night of dancing in the city’s speakeasies--a practice that soon becomes both ritual and rite of passage as more of the sisters grow old enough for such outings. The nighttime excursions let the sheltered girls dance, drink, and meet people from outside their father’s suffocating home, keeping the despair from overwhelming them.
But when Mr Hamilton decides it’s past time he offloaded his enormous brood onto the right sorts of husbands (read: people just like him), Jo must find a new way to keep her sisters safe.
OH MY GOD.
No; seriously; OH MY GOD.
Some books, you know straight off the bat they’re something special. Cautious, picky-as-hell reader that I am, I was desperately in love with THE GIRLS FROM THE KINGFISHER CLUB by page twenty. It’s the sort of story that reaches out to you with an invitation not only to explore the beauty of the night clubs and the thrill of each dance but also to bear witness to the suffocating pain of a life lived largely behind closed doors.
It's an irresistible combination: gorgeous and dark, flashy and empathetic, and entirely up my alley.