Thursday, August 3, 2017

The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee

The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee - 513 pages

Henry "Monty" Montague is heading out on his Grand Tour of Europe with his best friend Percy.  It's meant to be one last hurrah for Monty and Percy before he settles down to estate management with his father.  However, his father is using it to punish Monty for being a little too interested in boys.  So Monty sets out for Paris with Percy, his sister and their leader.  But Monty can't seem to keep out of trouble.  He gets caught naked at Versailles, steals a locked box, is chased by an angry baron, set on by highwaymen, poisoned, and attacked by pirates -- all while bringing everything he knew about life and love into question.

I started reading this book for the LGBTQIA challenge last month.  However, I didn't finish it on time.  It got really great reviews, but I found it difficult to get into the first half of the story.  Monty is an extremely unlikable character in the beginning - a narcissistic alcoholic.  If the book wasn't for the challenge, I wouldn't have kept reading it.  I'm glad I did stick with it as by the end of the book you really start to like the various characters.  The author also included several notes in the back of the book on the grand tour, epilepsy, politics, and queer culture in history.

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