I came to read this book because I like the premise. I did enjoy the book because it inspired me to know more about these women. But at the end of the day, I have to say, I was not as excited as I was when I first start reading it. It felt boring and flat, and I am just generally ‘ok’ with it.
I know I did say that I was somewhat bored with the story, but it does not mean this is a boring book. I think others might have enjoyed this book more. It has a great premise, and it was very interesting for me to go and search about the real lives of the women that were mentioned in this book. It was interesting to imagine that had these women were born in today’s era, they could have been bigger and more impactful than they were already are. It was inspiring to see women from the bygone era that had already fought of what was deemed as normal and acceptable by the society during that time. Although I must say that it was possible for these women to be true to who they are; be it a speed boat racer, an avid smoker, an open lesbian and/or bisexual, simply because they came from somewhat of an influential family, therefore they seem to be untouchable.
Apart from the very interesting characters in the book, I have to say that I don’t really enjoy the author’s voice very much. It was always so dark, depressing, and sad. I don’t know if that was in anyway intentional, but reading it for almost on every story in the book is just so exhausting for me. I feel like it was an endless battle between giving up this book or just march on and see if by the end of the book I would have changed mu mind (spoiler: I have not changed my mind, I still think it was exhausting). I get that these were suppose to be short stories, but it just irks me so much that many of the stories had no proper ending whatsoever. I am a firm believer that a story has to have a proper ending. I mean, you brought up what seem to be a problem that your characters are facing and then the story just abruptly end. I don’t know what am I suppose to do with that.
Make no mistake, I still think those who enjoy historical fiction, stories about powerful and interesting women, and just enjoy interesting and different kinds of short stories, would probably enjoy this book. So, if you are any one of those people, do give this book a try. I know I made it sound like this book is such a bore and a chore, but there are some interesting stories worth noting; namely stories on Allegra Byron which is such a tragic story, Butterfly McQueen’s story which is very thought provoking, Dolly Wilde’s story about wasted life, and the story about the women in Bergen-Belsen which I find the most interesting of all.
Title: Almost Famous Women
Author: Megan Mayhew Bergman
Genre: Fiction, Short stories, Historical fiction