I absolutely love historical fiction, especially when it involves characters from real history whose lives I find very interesting. Nikola Tesla is one of those people for me, with his inventions and visions of what could be setting him apart from a lot of people from his time. From movies to even other fiction, I love when Tesla is featured as a character, and knew right away that this little book would be a fun one for me!
Miss Victoria Frank is a young woman with a curious mind and a few skeletons in her closet. She befriends Tesla, a hardworking scientist who feels isolated by his own curiosity, and they begin a working relationship. I really enjoyed the relationship between these two characters; both were sort of outcasts in their own right, Victoria with her inability (and lack of desire) to fit into the traditional roles expected of her as a woman, and Tesla’s insistence that there was more beyond what science had shown them, if they pushed enough boundaries. There were a few side characters that were also enjoyable to read, and felt realistically depicted with their personality flaws and quirks.
Kelly Evans’ book is just over the 100 page mark (in the physical paperback edition), which means it’s really quick to get through in a single sitting. With 2020 being the kind of year it has, I’ve relied heavily on books that I can pick up, get sucked into, and finish without having to stop – and The Strange Tale of Miss Victoria Frank was exactly what I was looking for. Quick, perfectly paced, and filled with enough mystery and action that by the time I finished, I was a little surprised at how much Evans managed to include in her story.
I really enjoyed the way this one ended as well. Sometimes with a novella, it can feel like the ending is rushed, or like things are left unanswered for the sake of fitting into a certain page count. In Miss Victoria Frank, the ending felt perfectly wrapped up, with no open or loose threads left for the reader. There’s a little bit of a twist to this that I won’t give away, but I will say that I absolutely loved the blend of real historical characters, and fictionalized ones.
This was my first book by the author, and I’m so appreciative of her sending it my way for review! I had a lot of fun reading it, and am looking forward to reading more by Evans in the future!
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