Monday, November 18, 2019

Inventing Victoria by Tonya Bolden - OPTIONAL

Inventing Victoria by Tonya Bolden, 261 pages.  Bloomsbury, 2019.  $18.  

Content: Language: G; Mature Content: PG-13; Violence: G.  



Essie grew up in a brothel that her mother owned, but she always hoped for something more.  When Ma Clara, the cleaning lady, offers to take Essie to school, Essie starts to see that she could have a different life.  As Essie grows older, she is noticed by a woman, named Dorcas, who is staying at a boardinghouse.  Dorcas offers Essie an opportunity to reinvent herself, be educated and advance in society regardless of her background.  Essie takes the opportunity afforded her and changes her name to Victoria and follows Dorcas’ tutelage, but starts to wonder if it is all worth it.  

I liked the premise of a young black girl in the South during the 1880’s being given equal opportunities in education and influencing society for good.  But the author didn’t really make me care for this character and the amount of detail given throughout the book to the details of food and etiquette stopped the plot and were tedious.  There are a lot of social rules that the reader would have to have a foundation in the history of the time period to understand because they are implied, but not explained well.  The PG-13 content is the eluded to activities in the brothel.  

Reviewer, C. Peterson.

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