Subversive Victoriana: The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter by Theodora Goss

If you recall my last entry for TBR Stack, I found Artemis to be a fun read; while Andy Weir’s stated aim is to write exciting SF, not make a political statement, part of the fun for me was investing in Jazz Beshara’s financial troubles. In Theodora Goss’ The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter, the politics are much more apparent—this is a feminist retelling of Victoriana, after all. But it’s also an examination of class, mobility, propriety, and finances, and how they echo through women’s lives, and constrain them.

In short, this book is about opportunity, and its specific relationship to women’s bodies.

Miss Mary Jekyll is the daughter of the esteemed Dr. Henry Jekyll, who died when she was only eight years old. Her mother, always a fragile woman, gradually descended into madness after her husband’s death, raving about a horrible face appearing ...