Sunday, March 15, 2015

Review: The Fair Fight

Title: The Fair Fight
Author: Anna Freeman

Publisher: PenguinGenre: Historical Fiction480 pages
Release Date: April 2015

Born into a brothel, Ruth's future looks bleak until she catches the eye of Mr. Dryer. A rich Bristol merchant and enthusiast of the ring, he trains gutsy Ruth as a puglist. Soon she rules the blood-spattered sawdust at the infamous Hatchet Inn.

Dryer's wife Charlotte lives in the shadows. A grieving orphan, she hides away, scarred by smallpox, ignored by Dryer, and engaged in dangerous mind games with her brother.

When Dryer sidelines Ruth after a disastrous fight, and focuses on training her husband Tom, Charlotte presents Ruth with an extraordinary proposition. As the tension mounts before Tom's Championship fight, two worlds collide with electrifying consequences.
- taken from Goodreads

I received this book through the Penguin First to Read program.

The story was a little bit slow to start, but it only took a few chapters to draw me in. It follows three main characters: Ruth, a female fighter who had been born and raised in a brothel, George, a middle class gambler trying to make his way in the world, and Charlotte, the sister of George's best friend. The majority of the plot revolves around the world of fighting in the rings of Bristol, a subject I knew next to nothing about, especially female fighting, so I was intrigued and happy to learn something new.

One of my favorite things about the story is how the three different POVs overlapped so that you could read multiple perspectives on a single scene. Initially I was disappointed in the characters themselves because I didn't really feel a connection with any of them (I like for books to make me feel). But then it seemed that as Charlotte started to grow and change (and her story was my favorite to follow), so did my feelings for these characters. Suddenly they were much more real and I was transformed into a raving feminist on the sidelines, cheering for these poor tragic women to win in life.

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