Book Review Of “The Parting Glass” By Gina Marie Guadagnino @AtriaBooks


Devoted maid Mary Ballard’s world is built on secrets, and it’s about to be ripped apart at the seams, in this lush and evocative debut set in 19th century New York, perfect for fans of Sarah Waters’s Fingersmith and Emma Donoghue’s Slammerkin.

By day, Mary Ballard is lady’s maid to Charlotte Walden, wealthy and accomplished belle of New York City high society. Mary loves Charlotte with an obsessive passion that goes beyond a servant’s devotion, but Charlotte would never trust Mary again if she knew the truth about her devoted servant’s past. Because Mary’s fate is linked to that of her mistress, one of the most sought-after debutantes in New York, Mary’s future seems secure—if she can keep her own secrets…

But on her nights off, Mary sheds her persona as prim and proper lady’s maid to reveal her true self—Irish exile Maire O’Farren—and finds release from her frustration in New York’s gritty underworld—in the arms of a prostitute and as drinking companion to a decidedly motley crew consisting of a barkeeper and members of a dangerous secret society.

Meanwhile, Charlotte has a secret of her own—she’s having an affair with a stable groom, unaware that her lover is actually Mary’s own brother. When the truth of both women’s double lives begins to unravel, Mary is left to face the consequences. Forced to choose between loyalty to her brother and loyalty to Charlotte, between society’s respect and true freedom, Mary finally learns that her fate lies in her hands alone.

A captivating historical fiction of 19th century upstairs/downstairs New York City, The Parting Glass examines sexuality, race, and social class in ways that feel startlingly familiar and timely. A perfectly paced, romantically charged story of overlapping love triangles that builds to a white-knuckle climax, this is an irresistible debut that’s impossible to put down.

Thank you Atria Books for sending me an E-ARC, in exchange of an honest review. All opinions are my own. This review was supposed to post a while ago, however, something in must have glitched, and it never posted, so I am having to re-write my initial review.

I give this book a 4 out of 5 Stars.

This is another one of those books, that serves of a reminder of how much I love Historical Fiction Books. And it made me question why I do not read more. T.P.G. was a beautiful story. Well written, and totally grabs your attention, quickly. It was written with such a rich detail to History, and has one of the best love triangles I’ve read recently. The relationship between Brother and Sister was so eloquent, and touching. That was hands down my favorite part of this book.

I do not have a lot of history reading Historical Fiction, based on Irish Immigration, nor their politics, that didn’t stop me from devouring this book though. It was really in a class of its own. Not to mention, the cover is outstanding. I am so appreciative that I was invited to review this book.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40539137-the-parting-glass?from_search=true

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