Reviews

Library Journal
(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Too bad Miss Emily "Fido" Faithfull really is so devoted. Trying to help friend Helen, she gets tangled in a divorce case that gets nastier by the minute. Based on an 1864 scandal in Britain. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Library Journal
(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

In Victorian England, spinster Emily "Fido" Faithfull is earnestly engaged in the emerging women's movement. But her orderly life is disrupted when she becomes reacquainted with Helen, a former friend just returning from Malta, where her admiral husband has been posted for seven years. Though Helen is Fido's polar opposite in temperament and approach to life, they quickly reestablish a close friendship. Helen--selfish, manipulative, and thoroughly disenchanted with her husband--engages in risky behavior that results in a scandalous divorce trial, and Fido is caught in the middle of a struggle between the friend she so blindly believes in and the admiral, whom she respects. Donoghue's (Slammerkin) new historical novel brings alive events unfamiliar to most American readers. Though many of the legal details of the actual 1864 divorce case on which this story is based are on record, this more personal account results from the author's "connecting the dots" of her research with her own interpretation of likely events. It's an engrossing tale, and Donoghue's ability to steep the reader in the realities of the time makes her story ring true. Recommended for all public libraries as well as academic libraries serving women's studies programs. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 5/1/08.]--Caroline Mann, Univ. of Portland Lib., OR (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Book list
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

Spinster Emily Faithfull is a rarity in Victorian England the successful owner of a printing press and a leader in the fledgling British women's movement. But she's also naive and overly trusting (her nickname, Fido, says it all), especially when it comes to her vibrant, beautiful, and unhappily married friend Helen Codrington. After an absence of several years, during which Admiral Codrington is posted to Malta, the Codringtons have returned, and Fido finds herself entangled once again in their domestic troubles. This time, the troubles lead to a scandalous divorce case that destroys Fido's illusions and threatens nearly everything she has achieved. The versatile Donoghue, author of Slammerkin (2001) and Life Mask (2004), among other works, delivers a complex and well-executed tale based on actual people and events, drawing from newspaper accounts, legal documents, and personal papers. Readers may find themselves skimming through the chapters detailing Codrington v. Codrington, and growing impatient with Fido, but every detail of the Victorian milieu, from the private to the public realms, is just right.--Quinn, Mary Ellen Copyright 2008 Booklist