“We only have three laws in our Society, Cecilia. No killing civilians. Pour the tea before the milk. No stealing each other’s houses.”
“Did they not understand that pirates only stole from the rich to give to the– er, to themselves?”
“When do you propose we become friends? Before or after you murder me?”
“Please, assassinate. After all we’re not corsairs”
Oh my, what a madcap adventure this book is. If those quotes above tickle your fancy, then this might be the book for you. I’ll admit, at first I was super confused, the world is quite unusual and the world building is not obvious, it just sort of unfolds around you. The Wisteria Society is a group of Victorian female pirates who fly their houses around trying to steal from the rich and have endless vendettas against one another. The plot is a bit nonsensical, but the writing is hilarious if you can keep up with it.
Cecilia is the daughter of a famous female pirate and an infamous male pirate (rare in this world) and is trying to do something dastardly in order to earn her place amongst the society. She is targeted by an assassination plot and the hitman is quite the stud. Immediately, they are drawn to one another and quickly go from being on opposite sides to teaming up in order to free the society from her father’s grip.
If you’re looking for a goofy escape with a little steam for your summer reading list, this is a great choice. There are also fabulous literary allusions throughout. Lovely to see knowledgeable, strong women carry a narrative even if it is about crime and if they are still unnecessarily terrified of the Great Peril (freckles).
Thanks to Berkley for a copy of this novel. All opinions above are my own.