Books sweep you away into their world, but historical fiction makes you live in it.
Exit the Actress by Priya Parmar takes place in the mid-1600s and tells the story of Ellen Gwynn, also known as Nell. Starting out as an orange seller to the audience during theater productions, and with a mother who is an alcoholic and a sister who is a prostitute, Nell rises into the world of stage acting and catches the eye of King Charles. Simultaneously becoming a friend to his queen, Nelly also becomes mistress to him. This could certainly present a problem, but Ellen's a sweet young woman who doesn't have ill intentions. She simply loves her man, loves her family, and loves her friends and she tells her story through journal entries, and it's one that truly captures the imagination effectively.
Ellen was very much the people's actress, a young woman who rose up through society's ranks and became one with the King's courts, gallivanting with them on trips to the countryside, and developing relationships with noted historical figures. It was such a simple task to connect with Ellen and I found every single journal entry to be so engaging and cleverly written. I blushed in certain spots, giggled in others, and raged against injustices. I was hooked on the story, and the story didn't let me go.
Priya Parmar did one heck of a job keeping the story relatable to contemporary times without losing any edge of the 1600s. Her attention to detail was both breathtaking and refreshing, and my personal favorites were the snippets of articles written by the gossip columnist of the times, along with mentions of proper etiquette of a lady. Recipes for curing common ills were oftentimes hilarious, and I giggled with glee awaiting those moments of insight. This is a wonderfully creative story! Well done to the author and I look forward to the next book! (By the way I found myself so interested in stage acting during the 1600s. I blame Priya Parmar for the hours I've spent on my Mac having the most fun researching this topic...)
If you like historical fiction, go get this one. You won't be disappointed. You'll enjoy each endearing page as the story unfolds.
About the Author
Visit the author on her website by clicking here.
Visit the author on Facebook by clicking here.
Visit the author on her blog by clicking here.
Coffee and a Book Chick
FTC Disclosure: I received the book from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion.