The Dragon Lady - Louisa Treger (Book Blog Tour)
"Opening with the shooting of Lady Virginia 'Ginie' Courtauld in her tranquil garden in 1950's Rhodesia, The Dragon Lady tells Ginie's extraordinary story, so called for the exotic tattoo snaking up her leg. From the glamorous Italian Riviera before the Great War to the Art Deco glory of Eltham Place in the thirties, and from the secluded Scottish Highlands to segregated Rhodesia in the fifties, the narrative spans enormous cultural and social change. Lady Virginia Courtald was a boundary-breaking, colourful and unconventional person who rejected the submissive role women were expected to play.
Ostracised by society for being a foreign divorcee at the time of Edward VIII and Mrs Simpson, Ginie and her second husband, Stephen Courtauld, leave the confines of post-war Britain to forge a new life in Rhodesia, only to find that being progressive liberals during segregation proves morally dangerous. Many people had reason to dislike Ginie, but who had reason enough to pull the trigger?"
I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review as part of a book blog tour for Love Books Tours. Thank you to Love Books Tours and Louisa Treger for the opportunity to read this incredible book! This review is also on my bookstagram if you would like to see it there too!
Check out the other amazing bookstagrammers also on this tour.
TW: racism, abortion, graphic injuries, depression
Before I say anything else, I just need to say how obsessed I am with this cover! It is so gorgeous and an absolute pleasure to be able to take pictures with it. It has definitely added to the beauty of my bookshelf!
This story was intriguing right from the start and I was hooked from the first sentence. I loved the characters in this story and how the reader is swept up into the whirlwind of their lives. Ginie is a fabulous divorcee who is obviously very used to a luxurious lifestyle with the cutest pet lemur and she is curiously secretive over her snake tattoo. I loved this concept of a tattoo with a secret backstory, I would love to be that edgy - if only I wasn't so petrified of needles!
Ginie and Stephen are such a cute couple, it is so easy to tell from the writing just how deeply in love they are. I think the only couple that could rival their love is probably Morticia and Gomez from the Addams Family! It's impossible not to fall in love with these characters and I found it so easy to connect to them. Plus, as I was reading I made a note about how great and realistic the characterisation was and it absolutely blew my mind to find out that they are based on real people! The author has the amazing ability to be able to blend history and fiction so effortlessly!
I can't praise the writing enough! It was so gorgeous and poetic. There were so many paragraphs that made me swoon, one of my favourites being "He'd been to hell and back in the trenches, filling his mind with darkness; then along came Ginie like the sun, burning the shadows away." It was such a fantastic read and a brilliant journey.