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Last edited: 19/06/2021
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Michel Faber
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The Crimson Petal And The White
paperback
850 pages
Intriguing historic Victorian era novel in the vain of Dickens but with some rather modern twists. And written by a Dutchman, which is inspiring in itself!

The novel tells the tale of Sugar, a prositute in Victorian London. Also featured are William Rackham, heir to a perfume empire, and Agnes his wife, as well as their family, and various other prostitutes and characters from all ranks of Victorian Society. When the two meet William finds the inspiration to take over his father's empire and change his life, all in an effort to gather enough money to purchase her exclusive services..

Heralded as a bit of a "naughty" novel, it's streams of Victorian english are intermittently interupted by some harsh sexual references and other "naughty" subjects. It sort of brings a nice contrast between the idolized world of Victorian high society normally portrayed in such novels and the bodily functions even Victorians no doubt were subjected to or suffering from..

These reference do feel somewhat artifical at certain points however, as if there's a rule that every 500 words or so something "naughty" has to be interjected.. Also the storyline starts of rather fluently the first 200 pages or so and then somewhat stalls, where nothing much happens even though you can sense what's about to happen, which makes it a rather frustrating read at times..

The open ending seems strangely appropriate for such an unusual novel. As the novel is styled as being a window in time in the life of the characters involved it makes sense not all issues have been resolved when the window closes..

Despite being a rather hefty 850 pages it's a page turner most of the time atleast, so it still comes as recommended!
8/10
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