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From the Publisher’s Website:
In 18th century London the glamorous Drury Lane and Covent Garden theatres were all the rage, beckoning every young actor, actress, playwright, and performer with the lure of the stage lights. But competition and back-biting between theatre owners, patrons, actors, and writers left aspiring playwrights with their work stolen, profits withheld, and reputations on the line. For a female, things were harder still, as the chances of a “petticoat playwright” getting past the government censor was slim.
In this exciting and cutthroat world, a young woman with a skill for writing and an ambition to see her work performed could rise to glory, or could lose all in the blink of an eye…
In Ciji Ware’s signature style, real-life characters of the day create a backdrop for a portrait of a glittering era, a love story, and a compelling glimpse into what life was like for a strong and independent-minded woman in an emphatically man’s world.
About the Author:
In addition to her career as a novelist, Ciji Ware was a reporter and commentator on radio and television in Los Angeles for more than twenty years. She majored in history and was the first woman graduate of Harvard College to serve as president of the University’s worldwide Harvard Alumni Association. Her numerous awards include an Emmy, and a Dupont for her television work, a Silver Gavel for magazine journalism, and the Dorothy Parker Award of Excellence for her historical novel, Island of the Swans. Ciji is also a sought-after event speaker, print journalist, and the author of 6 historical novels, as well as the nonfiction work Rightsizing Your Life –selected by the Wall Street Journal as one of the “Top 5 Books on Retirement” for 2007. She lives with her husband, Internet Marketing executive Tony Cook, in the maritime village of Sausalito, seven minutes across the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco. She often commutes to New York to visit her grown son and daughter-in-law.
This is a tale of a young woman who finds herself without her father. A young woman who was brought up educated at a time when women were not thought to have brains. After her father is arrested for selling books the church finds offensive Sophie writes a tract against those that convicted him and finds herself in serious trouble. Helped out of town by her actor friend she runs to London to seek out her aunt and uncle only to find more problems. Being strong and smart Sophie uses her writing and print making skills to survive.
Ms. Ware’s writing style is such that you find yourself drawn into the time period. It was rather like watching a movie in my head. Her descriptions of place, attire and even persons are detailed but not so that you feel like you are reading a list. It’s all drawn together so well in the whole of the story. The characters are well conceived and interesting. I did get a bit annoyed with Sophie though; as smart as she was portrayed to be it seemed she just never learned when it came to men. I also found it a touch hard to believe a young girl would survive so unscathed in this time period. But those minor niggling thoughts aside I thoroughly enjoyed this book.
I was not aware that there were so many female playwrights in this time period. It did not surprise me that they were looked down upon and generally dismissed. The descriptions of the theatres and the backstage goings on were fascinating and added so much to the story. I am a theatre lover so it doesn’t matter the time – a play is a play!
The central love story was full of challenges. I truly wonder if two people would really survive what these two went through over the course of so many years. There was an appalling lack of communication although I suppose back in this time period women WERE supposed to be seen and not heard. heh.
Wicked Company is available at Sourcebooks and
Wicked Company is available at Amazon.com
Disclosure: I received a gratis copy of Wicked Company from Sourcebooks. Any opinions expressed are my honest opinions and were not impacted by my receipt of the free book. I received no monetary compensation for this post.