A Kiss from Mr Fitzgerald (Natasha Lester, Hachette)
It’s 1920s New York. Evelyn Lockhart has moved to Manhattan to chase her dream of studying at Columbia University and becoming one of the first female doctors in America. In doing so, she loses the support of her family and turns her back on the security of their conservative values. In a city running high on gin and jazz, Evelyn quickly learns that she’ll need to find a means of supporting herself, and so auditions for the notorious Ziegfeld Follies. But will this scandalous new world threaten her dream? And what about her new relationship with well-to-do banker Thomas Whitman? This well-researched historical novel from Natasha Lester follows a young woman’s journey as she tries to make a place for herself in the conventional medical profession of obstetrics. Lester has created a strong female character whose tenacity and ambition are to be admired, although further insight into the other characters’ attitudes and motives would have added greater depth to the story. A thoughtful and engaging read, A Kiss from Mr Fitzgerald explores the true meaning of sacrifice and the importance of maintaining one’s integrity in the face of adversity. It is ideal for readers of fast-paced historical fiction.
Jessica Slade is a bookseller at Abbey’s Bookshop in Sydney