The Fair Fight

The Fair Fight

Book - 20160412
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NAMED A BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR BY BOOKPAGE AND LIBRARY JOURNAL

The Crimson Petal and the White meets Fight Club : A page-turning novel set in the world of female pugilists and their patrons in late eighteenth-century England.

Moving from a filthy brothel to a fine manor house, from the world of street fighters to the world of champions, The Fair Fight is a vivid, propulsive historical novel announcing the arrival of a dynamic new talent.

Born in a brothel, Ruth doesn't expect much for herself beyond abuse. While her sister's beauty affords a certain degree of comfort, Ruth's harsh looks set her on a path of drudgery. That is until she meets pugilist patron George Dryer and discovers her true calling--fighting bare knuckles in the prize rings of Bristol.

Manor-born Charlotte has a different cross to bear. Scarred by smallpox, stifled by her social and romantic options, and trapped in twisted power games with her wastrel brother, she is desperate for an escape.

After a disastrous, life-changing fight sidelines Ruth, the two women meet, and it alters the perspectives of both of them. When Charlotte presents Ruth with an extraordinary proposition, Ruth pushes dainty Charlotte to enter the ring herself and learn the power of her own strength.

A gripping, page-turning story about people struggling to transcend the circumstances into which they were born and fighting for their own places in society, The Fair Fight is a raucous, intoxicating tale of courage, reinvention, and fighting one's way to the top.


From the Hardcover edition.
Publisher: Riverhead Books 20160412
ISBN: 9781594634086
1594634084
Branch Call Number: ON ORDER

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r
racquetannie
Apr 25, 2016

A must read for lovers of 18th century historical fiction!

s
sagewolfe
Sep 16, 2015

Ooh! 18th Century bare-knuckle boxing, a glimpse at female pugilistic history, and transcendence of social class, politics, and stigma. Need more reasons to read? How about a twisty plot perspective told in three-part disharmony. You gotta place a hold on this one!

KateHillier May 27, 2015

I probably would have preferred it had the novel been limited to perhaps two of the points of view but overall it is a fine historical novel. I first became aware of this book thanks to the tagline about female pugilists. It seemed pretty hardcore and the story you come for is Ruth's. Ruth is brothel raised but knows she probably isn't going to end up one of the girls because of her looks. One day it is discovered that she can fight and one of the gents decides to take her on as a young novelty fighter. I could have read a whole book of just Ruth's story; it was fascinating and you could really hear and feel her voice. Instead of sticking with her story, though, you get Charlotte - the eventual wife of the man who takes Ruth. Charlotte's story is a sad one from the nobility side of things - she is scarred by smallpox and gets treated rather shabbily by her brother (who is painting in sheer adoration from another's point of view) who takes an interest in Ruth herself when they finally, finally meet.

It's a long haul, and I probably would have been much more content had the story just been Charlotte and Ruth but it's a really great read overall. Lots of historical detail, lively prose (you can tell that the author is slam poet), and story that keeps you reading despite any preferences of narrator.

u
Urbano
May 18, 2015

A hugely enjoyable read.

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