Y’all, when I tell you I am shook. She is shook. I knew nothing about Lee or The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue. I picked it up on a whim. But it covered so many topics and was such an enjoyable read. I loved the characters, namely Monty, it was an interesting plot. You have to read it.
I’ve got a lot to cover and the coffee shop I’m at closes soon. Let’s see what I can do.
Monty (nickname) is our main character. He is young, rich, a bit of a mess, and in love with his best friend Percy. What also takes a bit to sus out, is that Monty also has a heart of gold. Under the drinking and flirting around, is someone who wants to be loved.
Percy is a rock, stable and steady. Not without faults, but generally more grounded then our dear Monty. He isn’t white which makes his life harder, but he stays sweet and kind.
Then you have Monty’s younger sister Felicity. She had big dreams, big ambitions, and isn’t afraid to work for what she wants. I didn’t love her at first but she grew on me.
Our trio departs England, ready to take a tour of the continent with a chaperone in tow. A chaperone put in place by Monty’s abusive, extremely controlling, and homophobic father. As you might imagine, the first few days of the trip are a little rough. Then Monty makes an impulse decision that completely changes the trajectory of the trip and their lives.
We have pirates, highway robbers, fancy dinner parties, gypsies, traveling across countries, and what is essentially berried treasure.
And while I loved the plot, what had me finishing the book in one sitting was the characters. They grow and develop as people. Even the secondary characters were 3D.
Monty and friends have to deal with real things like racism, homophobia, sexism, ablism, and abuse. And the topics are covered with the seriousness and respect they deserve without becoming depressing. In fact, I thought overall the book was pretty funny.
To top it all off, there was the Monty and Percy romance. It was so wonderful to watch that unfold. There was all the longing and angst and uncertainty of a first love. But there was also the sweetness and newness and discovery. It was realistic and relatable. I was cheering for the pair from page two.
The build up was long, but not slow, and it had so many interesting elements. Like alchemy. Who knew that could be such a plot device!
I listened to the audio book and I whole hardheartedly recommend it. The writing had some surprisingly beautiful elements. Ok, rereading this, I’m gushing, but I can’t seem to stop. AND I DON’T WANT TO.
“We are not broken things, neither of us. We are cracked pottery mended with lacquer and flakes of gold, whole as we are, complete unto each other. Complete and worthy and so very loved.”The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue