Wicked Company by Ciji Ware.
Publication Date: October 2010
Publisher: Sourcebooks Inc.
Fomat: Paperback, 624 pp
Genre: Historical Fiction/Romance
(Received for review from Sourcebooks)
Synopsis (Courtesy of the back book blurb):
In 18th century London the glamorous Drury Lane and Covent Garden theatres were all the rage, beckoning every young actor, actress, playwright, and performer with the lure of the stage lights. But competition and back-biting between theatre owners, patrons, actors, and writers left aspiring playwrights with their work stolen, profits withheld, and reputations on the line. For a female, things were harder still, as the chances of a "petticoat playwright" getting past the government censor was slim.
In this exciting and cutthroat world, a young woman with a skill for writing and an ambition to see her work performed could rise to glory, or could lose all in the blink of an eye...
In Ciji Ware's signature style, real-life characters of the day create a backdrop for a portrait of a glittering era, a love story, and a compelling glimpse into what life was like for a strong and independent minded woman in an emphatically man's world.
Ciji Ware's second novel, Wicked Company has everything a reader wants in a good historical romance: actors, betrayal, actresses, deceit, writers, intrigue, playwrights, danger, passion... you name it, this book has got it! The author takes us back to mid-18th century London and gives us a very in depth look at the theatre scene of the day.
Sophie McGann is a woman in a man's world. Censors commonly dismissed plays written by women or attributed them to someone else. A playwright often had to fight for recognition and profit. Sophie was no different, she had a conniving husband who wanted all the credit for her work,the manager of Drury Lane for a mentor and a lover who was a talented actor. Sophie struggles to become the writer she knows she can be in spite of the odds against her. Her husband Peter tries to thwart her career at every turn her personal life is no better, as she falls desperately in love with actor Hunter Robertson. Sophie and Hunter find obstacles a plenty as they follow their hearts to find true love.
This book was really fascinating. I had never read very much about the theatre before, though it is mentioned frequently in historical romances. Ware gives the reader a very through understanding on what went on and how a woman would have had to go about being successful as a playwright during this time period. I loved all the descriptions about the theatre and the goings on. Everything from the costumes to the descriptions of the theatre's themselves. The author has a knack for engrossing the reader in the details. Making them feel as though the have a greater understanding of what's going on.
I really felt for Sophie. She seemed to have a lot of skill in the profession that she chose, but not many opportunities, on top of that she had men in her life that were out for their own gain at her expense. But, she stood tall under the opposition and made her way in a man's world. I wasn't too sure about the romance with Hunter, but it grew on me. LOL!
Wicked Company is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.
I'm giving this one 4 out of 5 apples from my book bag!
Ciji Ware is an Emmy Award-winning journalist with tremendous media savvy and charisma in addition to being an author of historical fiction novels. She has appeared on the Today show to promote her books, and continues to be highly involved with her own projects in the television and film industries. She lives with her husband in San Francisco.