Here's another review that I wrote recently, this one for Random House. The book comes out in December.
By either: Jane Kamensky and Jill Lepore, or A Gentleman in Exile and A Lady in Disguise
Adult Historical Fiction
This book, which is simultaneously political, humorous, historical, romantic, and mysterious, is a masterpiece of teamwork. Kamensky and Lepore, both history professors, have brought alive pre-Revolutionary Boston in the most charming way imaginable. It is the tale of Stewart Jameson, exiled Scottish portraitist, and Fannie Easton, fallen-socialite-turned-apprentice. As Fannie Easton—or, as she comes to be known, Francis Weston—struggles to make sense of her new situation, Jameson finds himself caught up in the politics of colonial Boston. What begins as a comedy of errors, with Jameson experiencing torment over his feelings for the young male apprentice and Fannie confiding similar feelings to her only remaining friend, becomes something darker when a murder is committed in the very house where they are painting a portrait. Not quite a mystery, not quite a comedy, and not quite a romance, Blindspot will keep you guessing (and laughing) from beginning to end. Kamensky and Lepore have “pinned” the vernacular of the time, providing of wealth of wit and dirty jokes. Their research is unrivaled, and it is the small details that make the setting come alive. This is the most entertaining historical novel I’ve ever read.
6 days ago