Thursday, September 21, 2023

The Weather Woman by Sally Gardner

Neva Friezland is born into a world of trickery and illusion, where fortunes can be won and lost on the turn of a card.

She is also born with an extraordinary gift. She can predict the weather. In Regency England, where the proper goal for a gentlewoman is marriage and only God knows the weather, this is dangerous. It is also potentially very lucrative.

In order to debate with the men of science and move about freely, Neva adopts a sophisticated male disguise. She foretells the weather from inside an automaton created by her brilliant clockmaker father.

But what will happen when the disguised Neva falls in love with a charismatic young man?

It can be very dangerous to be ahead of your time. Especially as a woman.

Hardcover, 459 pages
First published November 10, 2022
by Head of Zeus
4/5 stars

The size of this book might dissuade some readers as it comes in at just over 450 pages. However, this was an interesting story about a woman with the ability to accurately predict the weather.

Beginning in 1789 Neva is orphaned when only three years old. Lucky for her, she was taken into a stable and loving setting. This was a unique storyline that has that fantasy element which is central to this story. Neva is a strong character with a strong mind and opinions. 

The Weather Woman is a story with many  layers and a wide cast of characters.  It was well written, capturing the times authentically as well with characters that I could connect with. 

The first half of the book had a slower paced opening but the author definitely knows the era with its social nuances and gambling dens.  Throw in some deceit, courtship and romance, along with the supernatural pretty much sums up The Weather Woman. This is my first time reading a Sally Garner book, I appreciate how she stayed true to history, even though the weather woman is obviously fictional. I will be checking out her other books.

My thanks to Head of Zeus for a print copy in exchange for an honest review.

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