I’ve been a huge fan of Anna Godbersen since I discovered the Luxe series and fell in love. Through the years, I’ve moved away from historical fiction, but I still love the royalty and the fancy dresses and the balls and so I still get a kick out of her work–especially now that she’s focusing on stand-alones! Her latest one, Beautiful Wild, is quite the adventure. From the deck of a giant ship to an island to the ballrooms of NYC, the story of Vida Hazzard is one historical fiction lovers won’t want to miss.
After a raging good night in San Francisco, Vida Hazzard, up and comer, board the SS Princess, a new top-of-the-line decadent ship found for Hawaii and then Australia–with her parents in tow–with the express goal of bagging the second son of the ship’s owner as her husband. Her flirtation with Fitzhugh Farrar goes swimmingly, but she can’t help but be intrigued by his assistant, Sal, too. But when the beautiful ship gets hit by another vessel, it becomes clear that this fairy tale will not have it’s perfect ending. Stranded on an island while they wait for rescue, Vida, Fitz, Hugh, and a cast of characters from the ship will have to learn to survive and figure out what life will be like when they eventually return home.
This is a sweeping romance, a shipwreck, a deserted island, and a society story all rolled up. It’s a pretty quick read, and really the only fleshed-out characters were Fitz, Vida, and Sal, so you don’t have to worry (or enjoy, I guess) being bogged down with other people. The descriptions are gorgeous as always, the female characters are wiley, and this is a classically good Anna Godbersen book. Not something that will stick with me forever, but an enjoyable read for a couple days.