Book Review: The Unmentionables

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A love story with an elegantly winding plot that is a triumph of feeling and masterful writing. The heart of love in this book is between neighbours Henry and James. Although both married, together discover and develop their sexuality together under the iron fist of law that prohibits their love and a society that threatens to take everything from them if they are discovered.

If I was to sum up this book in one word it would be ‘intense’. I could swoon about the beautifully tight writing, but what really got me in this book was the characters. The plot was solid and engaging, but it was the characters – James and Henry that captured my heart and carried me along for a journey of joy, anger, laughter, and tears – tears of both sadness and relief.

While the sex scenes are fucking hot, the scenes that moved me – almost to tears (I rarely cry when reading) were when Henry and James shared mundane, everyday moments together. Those windows of intimacy and care stayed with me long after I closed the book. Prozorova and McFerren have a natural and poetic talent for reminding readers of the true nature of love in both its extremes and for this I am hugely grateful. It is certainly a book I will read repeatedly.

I almost didn’t notice it was a period piece because they had researched and woven it through so seamlessly. It was nice, too that I also connected with the side characters Clara and Kitty) just as deeply as the main characters. This made the tension so much more intense and gripping and broke many of the tropes you often see in this genre.

I can’t recommend this book highly enough.

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