Colonial Massachusetts, 1775
Abigail Stowell is a rarity for her time. The comely young woman is educated, outspoken, and attuned to the charged political climate around her. She is a staunch Patriot. In short, she is a rebel. So when Gideon Whitlock, an avowed Tory, rides into her village, Abby is not only put off by his politics and arrogance but is also annoyed by her undeniable attraction to him.
When she observes a clandestine meeting between her Patriot father and Gideon, Abby soon realizes that in a world divided by loyalties, not everything is as it seems. Soon she is drawn deeper into political intrigue than she ever dreamed possible. And just as feelings begin to heat up between Abby and Gideon, the shot heard round the world ignites the beginning of war between the colonists and the British redcoats. There is no time for hesitation, and Abby finds herself thrust into a world of intrigue, treachery, and terror. Lives hang in the balance, and Abby will stop at nothing to support the Patriot movement—but will her allegiance to the cause mean losing the man she loves?
My thoughts on the novel: Petticoat Spy had all the enticing ingredients to become a book I would utterly love — strong female character, historical tale, some spying, much family drama and a promising love interest… Even the sleek cover instantly caught my eye! I was supposed to adore it! So understand my frustration when I started to realise that I couldn’t relate to the story. Why on earth couldn’t I fully enjoy it and “get into” the book?
To be fair, I did find some scenes captivating, especially those where Abigail finds herself in danger. She has to be extra cautious, witty and inconspicuous. Given the context and the social climate, it was quite fascinating to watch her navigate her mission — an extraordinary destiny of hers. But I never really connected with the characters. I thought the intrigue began to gain intensity in the last half of the book with the whole drama surrounding her aunt Caroline and uncle Joseph. I thought it was quite well narrated.
I think it might have been a better idea to have Abigail begin her full-on infiltration mission in Boston much earlier in the plot. Maybe it lacked intensity in the first half. That could explain why I never really delved into the intrigue. Maybe it’s just the style that didn’t speak to me!?
Overall, I thought the book had great potential and I actually quite liked the ending which was satisfying and well-paced. I just wished I had connected with the overall intrigue on a much deeper, emotional level. I remain slightly disappointed but I believe it deserves 2 hearts which means “I liked the book” (which I did) according to my scoring sheet. If only I liked it more…
Finally, the author added some historical facts at the end of the book. A very good idea!
My Score: ♥ ♥