Pandora by Susan Stokes-Chapman
Out now from Harper Audio
This one took a little while to find its feet, but once the plot started to take shape, I was all in. Georgian London is the setting for this historical gem, and the best word I can find to describe the vibe of the story is “atmospheric.” As a long-time fan of Greek mythology, I did enjoy this take on the story of Pandora’s box, and our heroine, Dora, is an orphan, a jewelry designer, and a spitfire of a woman who can hold her own even under the restrictive culture of the time.
This tale is told through three points of view. Dora, of course, but also her uncle Hezekiah, who is her corrupt and frankly awful guardian, as well as Edward, a lovely young bookbinder seeking acceptance into to an exclusive antiquarian society. The supporting cast includes housekeeper-with-benefits Lottie, whose redemption arc unfortunately felt a little bit forced and contrived, as well as Edward’s friend, benefactor, and ardent admirer Cornelius. And let us not forget Hermes, Dora’s faithful and feisty magpie companion.
If you are interested in this title, I highly recommend the audiobook. Narration by Olivia Vinall was delightful and brought some real depth to the characters. I would definitely seek out more of her work in the future.