Well written, dickensian silliness about a foundling boy who is raised as a girl in order to spare his guardian's sanity. Not quite enough story for the 500 pages, I thought.
As my review title suggests, this book is an excellent observation in gender roles. Barring the historical relevance of this novel, many themes may be attributed to today's world, as well as giving insight to motivations or intentions on the cross between gender lines. Would love to see what else Stace comes up with. Original story lines, unique historical fiction, and easy to read. Stace does not let the reader down!
A Wesley Stace novel is always an adventure. His stories never go where you think they are going. This is his most unusual novel. It is part comedy, part mystery, part history
and an intriguing read!
Wesley Stace is of course, also well-known as a musician, under the name John Wesley Harding, so its not surprising that all his books have musical references. This book describes the work of a nineteenth century ballad singer who composes songs about the events in the book. The author has now released a CD of the folk ballads featured in the book. I didn't buy the CD until after I read the book, but it added to the enjoyment
The story, of an orphaned baby boy brought up as a girl by a man obsessed with having a daughter, is certainly unusual, and poses several questions about gender and identity.
It seems to re-assert the currently unpopular belief that our gender preferences are the result of background and upbringing. Challenging, thought provoking, and a great read!