The Harlot's Progress: Yorkshire Molly by Peter Mottley
Book 1 in The Harlot’s Progress Series
Paperback, 472 pages
October 30, 2009
Genre: Historical Fiction
Source: Received from Carnevale Publishing for Review
“This is a brand new historical thriller from Peter Mottley based on William Hogarth's celebrated 1733 etchings, "A Harlot's Progress". The first in a trilogy, Yorkshire Molly is a compelling story of one woman's misadventures in 18th century London and the first novel to bring these fascinating historical prints to life. Heroine Molly Huckerby arrives in London from Yorkshire into the exciting, vibrant and forbidding streets of the capital. She is soon approached by the notorious bawd Mother Wickham who cunningly seduces the heroine into a life of prostitution in a Cheapside brothel. The first in a trilogy, the story has elements of both bawdy romp and the serious struggles of a young woman against overwhelming misfortune. As well as comedy moments there is a breathtaking twist in the tale that keeps the reader gripped with a rewarding and not unhappy ending. Mottley (1935-2006) paints London with a colourful stroke, rich with historical accuracy that is the result of years of meticulous research” (from Amazon.com)
Before I begin this review in earnest, I feel that I have to say this book is not for those who do not like to read sex scenes. Much of this book is about sex. I also wouldn’t feel right if I didn’t say that this book would get an NC-17 rating if it were a movie.
With the above disclaimer, even though I am not a huge fan of books with a lot of sex in them, I did enjoy this one. True, the first couple chapters were a shock to get through, but after that it became routine. The author didn’t just use sex for sex’s sake; it was very integral to the story. The main character, Molly’s, whole life changes because of sex and much of the story takes place in a brothel, so the usage is very appropriate to the main plot. The author develops the characters so well that you begin to pay more attention to what is going on with the characters that the sex really just falls to the side. Also, after the first third of the book, the sex scenes become less.
This is a third person narrated story that tends to focus on Molly’s experiences and what she is doing. From time to time though, mostly in the first half of the book, there will be a sort of cut scene to the “Jews” that will provide a side commentary to what is going on. You get to really know these characters much later on and then it makes sense. Up until then, I was a little confused as to what was their purpose in the story. You can tell that the author cared about his characters because each one is complete with a set personality. You really do get to see them grow and evolve. You will quickly become caught up in Molly’s story, as well as that of her friends Annie and Kitty, and by the end of this book you will be cheering them to succeed.
I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this book. When I first accepted the book I had no idea the amount of sex that was in it and after hearing some other’s opinions, I decided this was going to sit for a little while. After I decided to pick it up, I really got into the story and am so glad that I read it. I will definitely be looking for the second book in the series Annie’s Quest, which will follow Molly’s friend Annie, I presume.
To give you a taste of the story, please check out chapter 1. This chapter doesn’t feature any of the sex scenes, so feel free to view it. Here is also the book trailer:
The author, Peter Mottley, unfortunately passed away before his series was published, but his daughter has been working to fulfill his dream. You can visit Carnevale Publishing for more information about this series.
4 out of 5 stars
Copyright © 2010 by The Maiden’s Court