The Sweet Far Thing

I finished The Sweet Far Thing last night (technically, this morning). I did really enjoy it. While there were some circumstances peculiar to the Victorian setting (corsets and suffragettes, for example), the main and sub-themes were universal – love, social acceptance, “What do I want to be when I grow up?”, and self-determination. I thought Ms. Bray did an excellent job of developing Gemma’s conflicting emotions, most of which would be typical of any 17 year-old, even one who was not locked in life or death conflict with supernatural forces. The period details were excellent: meeting H.G. Wells at a gentleman’s club (where men sat around and drank port and smoked cigars – no naked dancing girls), a playwrite getting a message from George Bernard Shaw, and a vaudevillian complaining about that upstart Houdini. One of the best parts was the metamorphosis of Ann. The villans were quite villainous, and most characters where either not quite what they seemed or they started out playing for one team and switched to the other. There was a definite social justice consciousness, and threads of love won and lost. The only realy criticism I had was when Gemma finally became aware of Pippa and Felicity’s true relationship. Given that Fee had been having a surreptitious fling with one of the Gypsies in the first book, it made me wonder if wonder if the girls’ love affair was planned the whole time, or tweaked in the third book to amplify the social injustice angle.  Overall, I thought it was excellent and I highly recommend it.