Book Review: Muskets and Minuets by Lindsey Fera


The Details:

Muskets and Minuets by Lindsey Fera
Publisher: GenZ Publishing
Published: 19 Oct 2021
Genre: YA Historical Fiction
Available: ebook

Sex: brief description of unwanted sexual advances, mild sexual descriptions
Violence: some, not too graphic

Reviewers Note: I was given a free copy of this book by the author in exchange for an honest review. 

The Plot in Brief: Set before and during the early days of the American Revolution, Annalisa Howlett is a young Massachusetts woman who chafes at the limits, expectations and social restrictions placed on the female of the species. Taught to shoot a musket by her brother, she longs to serve her country and joins the local militia disguised as a man. Yet, despite her anti-marriage stance, Annalisa is drawn to her brother's cousin, Jack Perkins, even as he pursues her lovely sister, Jane. 

The Characters: There are three main characters, Annalisa, her brother George and Jack. The narrative focuses on their lives, with most of the story centered on Annalisa. Annalisa is the quintessential tomboy. When the story opens she is a 'teenager' rebelling against her parent's wishes that she comport herself as a young woman from a prosperous family. They want her to marry 'well'. George, her loving, indulgent brother, enables his sister to a degree but eventually draws the line. Annalisa has a tug-of-war relationship with her brother's handsome cousin Jack and the author throws all manner of obstacles in their way. The trio evolve into patriotic adults who learn when to push and when to accept the boundaries placed on their lives. 

The History: The American Colonial Period is one of my favorite historical times and it was this that drew me to the story. Fera does an excellent job of capturing the time leading up to the revolution. I liked the way she created conflict in her character's families by have some oppose the growing clamor against England. She includes quite a few prominent events; the Boston Massacre, The Boston Tea Party, and the opening stages of the war. 

The Writing: Zounds! At times I felt like I was reading a dictionary of 18th century insults, sexual innuendos and naughty language. At other times, the stiff formal dialogue stilted the narrative.  The pace of the story slowed somewhat in the middle and I admit I got a bit impatient at times. There were also times when I was not quite sure who was speaking or doing some action, but this was a minor issue.

Overall: I really enjoyed Muskets and Minuets. It's got a lot of great history both social and political without reading like a dry history tome. Annalisa is a sympathetic heroine with a good story and a satisfying ending. I'm not really up on the YA market but I would definitely recommend this book to others, both readers of adult fiction and YA fiction, especially those that enjoy historical fiction. Thank you, Lindsey, for sharing your wonderful book with me. 

My Rating: I give this book 4 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ ★ stars

Muskets and Minuets is available for preorder on Amazon. It will be published in Oct. 2021.


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