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Reviewed by Joanie Chevalier for Readers' Favorite
In The Wild Poppy by Julia Bell, Melody was determined to become a newspaper reporter. It was 1864 and female reporters were unheard of. Female occupations at the time--seamstress, governess, domestic servant, teacher--didn’t interest her in the least. Marriage was the fulfillment of a woman’s dream and, for most in this era, their only goal in life. But Melody had too much to do and her job as a journalist was important to her. Because of her headstrong nature, calamities overtook Melody and her life ebbed and flowed in terms of her happiness, with her best friend, her beau, and her boss. The Wild Poppy moves at a quick pace and there are a few little surprises too. Readers will find themselves stamping their feet in frustration at times, and then cheering the heroine on as she plows through the narrow-mindedness of late 1800s society.
I was pleasantly surprised at the depth of The Wild Poppy and Julia Bell pulled me in with her rich and lively characters. The plot had my rapt attention; I was expecting a story that was good yet predictable but what I read was a story full of lively and interesting characters with a plot full of twists that were unexpected. Tough topics such as an execution by hanging and the hard life of a prostitute were brought out of hiding and in 1864 it was unheard of that a woman would be reporting on such scandalous topics. Even childbirth and feminine hygiene were off-limits and hushed. I am very glad we've advanced so much since the late 1800s! I highly recommend The Wild Poppy by Julia Bell. It has a satisfying ending that will knock your socks off.