Cover Image: Well Behaved Women

Well Behaved Women

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Member Reviews

I absolutely loved this book. It hooked me and kept me turning pages until I was done. Finished it in two days! The character development was strong, and the premise was unique enough that it didn't feel like anything else I've read.

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Thank you to netgalley and the publisher for the ARC!

If you are a historical fiction lover, you will enjoy this one that’s full of bad ass women making tough decisions!

This novel takes place in the Slavic region. The title of this book may be misleading to some, do not expect women to be “going with the flow” in these books. More along the lines of having to hide… (lgbtq+ identity characters).

There were parts that were hard to read involving rape and prostitution. I was surprised at how much grit this story had.

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Small Kentucky girl moves to Los Angeles in the late 1800's. She meets one of the biggest stars in Hollywood and is led into the secret world of glamour.

This is a book that explores the Roaring 20's....the kind that Fitzgerald wrote about and that people glamorize without looking into the truth of the darkness. This is the darkness--the rape, the abuse, the crime. This is a story of queer identity and of having to hide that.

Caroline Lamond has the ability to create a world and keep a reader captivated.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publishers for the opportunity to read and review this book.

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Well Behaved Women was a whirlwind of extravagance and glamour

Of first loves and enduring friendship

All set in the golden era of Hollywood

It's beautifully written. It draws you in and holds you close. It's heartbreaking and bittersweet, triumphant and enchanting

I really did love everything about this one. It was so immersive, sweeping you into the world of Hollywood and the extravagant life of the women around Alla. It will break your heart and the ending is so bittersweet, but I loved the journey it took you on.

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A glitzy, historical fiction told through multiple perspectives exploring the heyday of Hollywood, sexuality and the real life of a silent movie star.

I really enjoyed this, and found it incredibly engaging. This time period always makes for an interesting read, and this book was no different. While there's a definite display of the glamour, glitz and wild ways of Hollywood, the book also explores darker themes, heartrending back stories, tough relationships, and difficult choices. This added an extra layer to the story and the characters that I really appreciated.

The writing style is undemanding to read, and flows beautifully. I found it really easy to just keep reading and I was rivetted the whole way through. I found characters well developed for the most part, but feel as though some side characters and the relationships with them could have been fleshed out or explored a little further.

This was an exciting and enjoyable read from start to finish, and I would recommend this for anyone who likes historical fiction, exploration of LGBTQ+ experiences, and who generally finds the description interesting.

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well written with a compellingly poignant storyline and well developed characters. I couldn't put it down

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Maybelle Crabtree, native of Kentucky, is a transplant to California. While handing out her uncle's religious pamphlets on the street, she meets Josephine Colbert, or simply Joe, who takes a shine to her and introduces her to her friend, the glamorous actress Alla Nazimova. As her friendship with Alla continues and her relationship with Joe deepens, Maybelle comes more into her own and explores all that life has to offer.

Told in alternating perspectives between (at first) film industry outsider Maybelle and the life, from childhood to eventual fame, of Alla, this novel is all about the relationships between women, both platonic and romantic, set against the glittering backdrop of 1920s Hollywood. All the main characters are explicitly queer, and their queerness is never treated as a flaw, but is treated realistically for the period, which I appreciated - it was hard and scary to be queer then (and still is now, some might say) but people still loved each other despite the all the obstacles.

I do wish the characters were a little more fleshed out, especially Joe, who I felt got a little shafted by the focus on Maybelle and Alla. Joe seemed a little one-note, which is a shame, because she could have had a much larger role to play in her own right. Although it makes sense that her personality seems to change as Maybelle matures from dazzled newcomer to someone who's been in a relationship with Joe for awhile, I would have liked to have seen more from her, maybe even as a third viewpoint?

One thing I did not expect is that this book is, at times, surprisingly dark. Alla's atrocious and domineering father, lonely childhood, and the sacrifices she made for her art are heartwrenching. Equally heartwrenching is Maybelle's backstory - she is a victim of corrective rape after being seen with her (female) childhood sweetheart, was impregnated from said rape, had a miscarriage, and was basically discarded for her family. While she doesn't seem to dwell on this too much, it definitely affects her in the present. I was surprised - I was expecting a lighter, fluffier queer historical fiction novel, but I don't think the weighty bits detract from the novel at all.

Overall, this was an enjoyable read that I was glad I stuck with! It starts a little slow, and some readers might find Maybelle's early naivete irritating, but stick it out and you'll be glad you did. Thank you to Netgalley and One More Chapter for providing a free copy in exchange for an honest review!

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I love historical fiction and the gorgeous cover attracted me to this novel and I wasn't disappointed.

This is the roaring twenties Hollywood and it a good story of naïve girl from a farm finds herself part of the roaring party scene.

There are large elements of truth to this novel which I didn't realise when I requested it. One of the main characters Alla Nazimova, and some of her entourage were real people, and this part of it makes it interesting.

Even though I already knew that Salomé was panned by the critics upon release, it is interesting that it is now considered in some circles to be one of the earliest LGBTQ films ever produced.

LGBTQ plays an important part in the novel, but the characters are not defined by their sexuality, rather its something that they live with and negotiate on their own terms. Although there is "scandal" in why Maybelline was rather unfairly ostracized from her family; for the rest of it women and men seem to be comfortable with their sexuality and in control in terms of making choices.

This novel is glitzy and glamorous and gives glimpses into a Hollywood heyday of silent movies in which many people, but particularly women, worked and made their own choices in their own terms.

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My thanks to Net Galley and the invitation I received from Harpers UK to review this book. Unfortunately I don't feel I connected with it, was wowed , or felt it was a page turner. I liked the strong women did not like the cruel.abuse story of the one character and felt it jumped around a lot.

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Thank you for the opportunity to read and review. I love books that take place during the roaring 20's! This story did not disappoint! I enjoyed diving into the glamorous world of these strong women! Great read!

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This was just okay. Kind of felt as though the story was all over the place. Not as neatly together as it could have been.

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The life of the great Russian thespian and silent movie icon Alla Nazimova from her difficult childhood in Yalta to her spectacular downfall in Los Angeles at the dawn of the talkies.

A captivating novel about the flamboyant world of Hollywood during the Roaring Twenties told with a lot of panache, glamorous details and a fascinating glimpse at the lesbian "sewing circles" in Tinseltown at the time.

This highly entertaining tale got me hooked from the get-go! A delightful fictional journey through a vanished world, brilliantly plotted and blessed with a terrific cast of exquisitely drawn characters.

This delicious literary treat deserves to be discovered and enjoyed without any moderation whatsoever!

Many thanks to HarperCollins UK/One More Chapter and Netgalley for this fabulous ARC!

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I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book via NetGalley and HarperCollins UK, One More Chapter. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Rating: 4/5 Stars
Publishing: March 31, 2023
Pages: 384

It is not uncommon for me to fall in love with a book from the “One More Chapter” catalog and “Well Behaved Women” by Caroline Lamond, new author to this reader was a refreshing read. Although this is not my typical genre. It is a historical story about Maybelle and Alla’s perspective views during the 1800s…the golden age period of glitz, glamour and Hollywood. It is clearly a feminist piece of fiction. It is well written and that is what engaged my attention from the first to last page of the story. There are some triggers…rape, abortion and abuse. There is a rollercoaster of emotions throughout the story that unfolded events that impacted the lives of the characters, people around them and the little secrets though to be kept hidden. Closed doors, hidden personas and taboos…evolving from this author’s writings. A sleeper that spoke of a time where some things need remain “hush hush”. Enjoyed the historical aspect of this story and recommend the read.

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A wonderful emotional and poignant historical novel focused on three that doesn't shy away from the darker underbelly of these often romanticized eras. It's a beautifully written story, so evocative of the times and the characters are intricately drawn. A truly fantastic read!

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Wow. What a story this book told. The story of Alla and Maybelle and is based on a real life silent movie icon. This is the kind of book I love and enjoy reading. Real and fiction all wrapped up in a story that keeps me reading from start to finish.

I love the era of the book and it's wildness. It has glamour, a bit of humour, a story that keeps on giving and I just couldn't put it down. It is so well written and flows effortlessly which is what makes it such an entertaining read.

Great women, great story line and a book I highly recommend.

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Thank you NetGalley for the eARC. This book was so eye opening. First of all the entire idea of women loving each other back then…im a lover
Of old black and white movies and now I’m going to look at all the women and wonder ! 😊. The story itself was wonderful and all the names, the movies and the actors/actresses. It was a trip back in time. Wonderful

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A beautifully crafted story, richly detailed with captivating characters. The stories drew me in and kept me engaged throughout. Thoroughly enjoyable.

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Thank you to NetGalley, and the publisher, HarperCollins UK – One More Chapter, for granting me sn advanced copy in exchange for this honest opinions.

I love historical books and the setting for this one in the Kate 1800's into the 1920's was beautifully written.

I was saddened by the events that hat and how many lives were destroyed just because of people not being able to openly be who they are sexually. We still have a long way to go in our society today, but this book shows how far we have come

Closed doors were the norm and a person had to hide there preference. It was taboo to even speak of being queer.

The book was beatifully written and I enjoyed Maybelle’s and Alla’s stories.

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NetGalley ARC Educator 550974

TW: Rape, Child abuse, abortion

This is the story of 3 women whose stories begin in the late 1800s and carries forward to the heyday of Hollywood. Through in stars such as Rudolph Valentino and self realization with intricate character backgrounds, we have a story that will pull you in and keep you in it's clutches until the very end.

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This is one of those books that I knew from the first page I would love as it has the perfect balance of humor and plot! Maybelle has moved from Kentucky to LA and meets the beautiful Joe who draws her into a life she never knew existed. Alternating in time from the 1800's to the 1900's, the novel reveals the lifestyles of the Roaring 20's with all its grandeur and pompous behavior. We also meet Alla whose lowly origins eventually catapult her to fame as these characters' lives intersect. What a joy ride as it was easy to picture!
Thanks to NetGalley for this ARC!

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