Tuesday, November 11, 2014

The Lodger by Louisa Treger



Back Cover Blurb 


Dorothy Richardson is existing just above the poverty line, doing secretarial work at a dentist's office and living in a seedy boarding house in Bloomsbury, when she is invited to spend the weekend with a childhood friend. Jane has recently married a writer who is hovering on the brink of fame. His name is H.G. Wells, or Bertie, as they call him.

Bertie appears unremarkable at first. But then Dorothy notices his grey-blue eyes taking her in, openly signaling approval. He tells her he and Jane have an agreement which allows them the freedom to take lovers, although Dorothy can tell her friend would not be happy with that arrangement.

Not wanting to betray Jane, yet unable to draw back, Dorothy free-falls into an affair with Bertie. Then a new boarder arrives at the house—beautiful Veronica Leslie-Jones—and Dorothy finds herself caught between Veronica and Bertie. Amidst the personal dramas and wreckage of a militant suffragette march, Dorothy finds her voice as a writer.


Louisa Treger's The Lodger is a beautifully intimate novel that is at once an introduction to one of the most important writers of the 20th century and a compelling story of one woman tormented by unconventional desires.

Review
by

Dorothy's life is full of trials and tribulations, and author Louisa Treger successfully recreates it in this fresh and evocative story. From the stringent societal norms of the Victorian era, to the passion of the suffragette movement, to the first World War, Dorothy's life grows ever more challenging. This powerful tale is about how Dorothy found her own identity and voice in a time where women were of little notice or importance. 

I enjoyed the secret love affairs Dorothy entered into, and how she paid an awful price for having gone through them. The scenes about the seedier side of London were also sleekly well written about. More importantly, when one reads between the storylines, we are exposed to the trials of women alone in the world during the Victorian era, and how courage, perseverence, and fear ruled their daily lives in order women to survive. And the author gives us beautiful insight into all such details. I highly recommend this biographical novel to all readers and writers interested in women's history.


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