My mother teases me for my absolute obsession about reading books in chronological order. I put off Katherine Sturtevant's A True and Faithful Narrative because I hadn't read its prequel At the Sign of the Star until my Cybil-Sisters indicated that it needed to be read.
I enjoyed it immensely. I'm sure having the backstory would have added to my enjoyment, but it really wasn't necessary for understanding anything plot or character-wise. It was a fully formed historical novel in its own right.
Meg wants more than anything to become a published author. The only problem is that she lives in Restoration London. Women writers are...not encouraged. Meg must decide if her need to write is great enough to go behind her father's back. While she struggles with that situation she must also contend with two very different suitors.
Meg is the very model of impetuousity; she regularly speaks without thought to poor reception. My, how I can identify with that characteristic. *sigh* When trying to be humorous she ends up insulting. She doesn't want to fit in the mold reserved for her and she chafes at the restrictions. She longs for freedom and a bigger life. Sturtevant presents a strong sense of place through her language. Not just with reference to period events or items (which are copious and fascinating), but with the dialogue and rhythm of the phrasing.
I really want another. But first, I need to go read At the Sign of the Star.