All the Pretty Places: A Novel of the Gilded Age

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During the economic downturn of 1893, Sadie Fremd sees wealthy friends and neighbors lose all they had left and right. Her main concern, however, is not for her father’s business but for her ability to study plants, bring hope to the poor by providing them with green spaces, and marry the love of her life, who happens to be one of her father’s employees.

Sadie is no doubt meant to be a strong-willed young woman ahead of her time, but often she came across as impetuous and childish. Many of the characters around her were flat and uninteresting, costume drama stereotypes meant to fill out the plot. The first chapters especially were difficult to get through, as Callaway loaded them with with details meant to fill us in on the world rather than allowing for the story to speak for itself.

Overall, I didn’t enjoy this book. I will say, however, that Callaway does an excellent job of writing descriptively. She knows her settings well and is able to immerse readers in a sense of place and time.

Reviewed By:

Author Joy Callaway
Star Count 2/5
Format Trade
Page Count 400 pages
Publisher Harper Muse
Publish Date 09-May-2023
ISBN 9781400234400 Buy this Book
Issue May 2023
Category Historical Fiction