The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue is a historical fiction written by Mackenzie Lee. The book follows Henry Montague, Felicity, who is his sister, and Percy, Henry’s closest friend whom he also sports a huge crush on, as they travel through Europe on Henry’s Grand Tour. Our main protagonist Henry, starts off as a problematic character, and his nature is what causes this Grand Tour of Europe to become dangerous and not exactly what they planned it to be. The story takes place in 18th century Europe. The author writes in Henry’s point of view throughout the entire book, and because of this we get to see Henry’s unique character development. There are some down sides to this, such as we aren’t able to fully understand what the other characters, like Felicity and Percy, are going through. Despite this setback, the author still does a wonderful job of conveying how Henry affects others through his actions. She also shows how Henry is being affected by other characters, and how his relationships with the people around him, especially Felicity and Henry, develop.
This book opens up the reader’s minds to the personal struggles of minorities in 18th century Europe, and that makes it perfect for anyone who wants to read it. It is also truly interesting to read as it allows the reader to identify differences and similarities between the past and the present, especially since gender, race, and sexuality is still an evident part of today’s culture. This book is great for teens and older people, as it can be quite flirtatious, and have crude humor at times.
Book Review by Thirtha Unnivelan