Monday, February 21, 2011

Historical Fiction Challenge 1 down 9 to go!

Vixen tries to capture the excitement and the seediness of the 1920s. I think it successes in transporting the reader to a different era. The author uses slang from the time, which is a nice touch. However, something about the novel left me empty. I wanted more.

We have three young ladies in Vixen. Gloria is the super rich, very beautiful young woman who longs to become a flapper. She is engaged to a man she doesn't like and wants to experience the new social life of a flapper. Then we have Clara who is a woman with a past. She was a naughty girl and did some unspeakable things(for the 1920s), but she can't let anyone know what happened. Clara is determined to make a new life for herself. When she is shipped off to visit her cousin Clara she sees an opportunity to better her lot in life. Perhaps in a stuffy world filled with parties, stunning clothes and gossip Clara can finally change her life. The final friend is Lorraine. She isn't as pretty as her friend Gloria(who gets everything) and is often portrayed as the needy girl. In fact, Lorraine's mission in life is to become more like Gloria and she will do that no matter what. She would betray her best friend.

I'll be honest and say the only girl I was interested in was Clara. Her life seemed more interesting than Gloria(the poor little rich girl) or Lorraine(the needy girl). I would have been happy to read a book that focused only on Clara. The chapters alternate between the girls. The book is in third person narrative.

The Flappers series(first novel Vixen) reminds me of the Luxe series by Anna Godbersen, but without all the twists and turns and backstabbing. It lacked the dramatic flair that the Luxe series had, and maybe that is why I felt there was a void. I wanted more theatrics. I enjoyed Bright Young things, by Anna Godbersen a lot more than Vixen. Oddly enough Ms. Godbersen toned down the cattiness and produced a good novel about the 1920s. With Vixen I was expecting Ms. Larkin to go all out with the cattiness. I wanted the wow factor or the "oh my god" factor but that never really came. So to me it seemed like a mild mannered back stabbing story.

That's not to say the novel isn't good. I just thought the author could have hyped it up more. In fact, I did enjoy the novel for what it was. I think the author did an incredible job of capturing the time period. She did her research and it shows.

I think students who enjoyed The Luxe series may give this one a go, but just remember it is milder than Ms. Godbersen's series. For those who are looking for an enjoyable read about the 1920s then I think teens will like this book. The details are great.

No comments: