Review of ‘The Lady’s Guide to Celestial Mechanics’ by Olivia Waite, Audiobook narrated by Morag Sims
What a fantastic story. I’m not a fan of lesbian historical fiction books because they normally portray hard times to be a woman, let alone a lesbian, but this one is a gem. It is as feel-good as it gets in the 19th Century.
Lucy Muchelney is an apprentice astronomer who has recently lost her father and mentor. After her ex-lover marries a man, she decides to go to London offering her services to the Countess of Moth to translate a groundbreaking French astronomy text. When both women meet, they strike a friendship that eventually develops into something deeper. But jealous scientists and old lovers threaten to get in their way…
This is book one in the ‘Feminine Pursuits’ series by this author following the lives of different women trying to make their mark professionally. Lucy is an astronomer and Catherine, the Countess of Moth, is an embroiderer with artistic talent fighting recognition in Regent England at the beginning of the 19th Century. It is a chant to women’s liberation but also a beautiful love story.
This is a character-driven book, both women are endearing, focused, and committed to fighting against the odds. Their bond grows slowly but surely among a great number of deep conversations about the philosophy of science, feminism, and professional pursuits. It is a pleasure to see their relationship evolve naturally to a romantic partnership with passionate chemistry. These women don’t let the patriarchy dictate whom they should love or what personal interests they should follow, and they rely on each other in a relationship based on mutual love and respect. It has a feel-good component that is hard to find in lesbian historical fiction.
The audiobook was narrated by Morag Sims who did a fantastic job giving voice to the different characters. I absolutely loved her voices for both leads, especially the Countess of Moth. Ms. Sims’s performance of the different emotions is very convincing and brings the story to life making it even better if that was possible. I highly recommend it to lesbian historical fiction books fans but also romance enthusiasts in general as this is a positive and feel-good story. 5 stars.
Duration: 8 hours and 27 minutes.
I normally don’t comment about Book covers but this one is gorgeous and captures the tone of the story vividly.