My Review of “Becoming Belle” by Nuala O’Connor. G.P.Putnam’s Sons August 2018
Nuala O’Connor, Author of “Becoming Belle” has written an enthralling and captivating novel about ambition, love, passion and making dreams come true. The Genres of this story are Historical Fiction and Fiction.This also also is a story of a feminist way ahead of her time, and a Bohemian way of acting and living. The timeline of the story is around 1887 in London, and other areas. The story goes to the past only when it pertains to the characters or events in the story.
The author describes her colorful cast of characters as complicated and complex , possibly due to the circumstances and the time. The main character is based on Isabel Bilton, who is 19 years old when she comes to London to be an entertainer. Isabel is the oldest of three sisters, and has the need to escape her mother’s oppression, and find her way. Soon after, her sister Flo comes and joins her and both become part of a dancing and singing act. The two sisters are extremely popular at The Empress Club and The Corinthian Club, where high society visits.
At this time, Isabel changes her name to Belle. Belle has a certain innocence and naivety about her. Belle seems to prefer the friendship of men to women. Unfortunately Belle is betrayed and left with dire consequences. With the help of Flo and a wealthy friend, Belle lands on her feet. Belle is determined to find true love.Belle makes sure she is able to provide for herself, and becomes determined to do well.
In 1891, Belle has become a countess. Along the way, the press attacks her, people betray her, and she finds herself in a trial, fighting for her reputation.
I am including this picture I found on line while searching for Isabel Bilton out of curiosity.
I would recommend this entertaining Historical Novel for those readers that enjoy reading about a Bohemian lifestyle and feminism in this time period. Happy Reading!!