An Appetite for Violets: A Novel

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Set in late-eighteenth-century England, An Appetite for Violets follows Biddy Leigh and a cast of memorable characters on their misadventures. Biddy is a sassy country girl who has risen to her pinnacle as a cook at the Mawton estate. She hopes to marry her suitor Jem, but is forced away from him when the master’s new wife, Carrina, arrives, throwing the household into chaos. When Carrina decides to leave for Italy, she wants Biddy to attend her on the journey. Along with Carrina’s sour-faced ladies’ maid, African footman, and Mawton’s steward, the ill-matched band set out for Italy. But there is something decidedly wrong with Carrina, and Biddy must decide to keep her mistress’s secrets—or use them for her own gain.

An Appetite for Violets aptly captures the eighteenth century in all its bawdy glory. In England’s cutthroat society, one must do things that are often wrong, and yet author Martine Bailey does not shy away from this truth. Told primarily from Biddy’s perspective, the novel is interlaced with period recipes and letters from the other participants in the tale. Lovers of Henry Fielding and Jonathan Swift will find this a delightful read.

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Star Count 4/5
Format Hard
Page Count 400 pages
Publisher Thomas Dunne Books
Publish Date 2015-Jan-13
ISBN 9781250056917 Buy this Book
Issue March 2015
Category Historical Fiction


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