Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
A Brief History of Ladies by Elizabeth Cook is an excellent, excellent novella. I was disappointed that there was not more of it, because the material was very rich, the dialogue smooth, and the humor light.
I am a huge fan (and consequentially very choosy) of historical settings. Cook did not fail to disappoint in any area. Her context was historically accurate, her characters true to their time period, and at the same time it was not dry or dull in any way. In fact, I breezed right through it the first time and had to go back and read it again. Again, I wish there had been a lot more, because I was a huge fan of her writing style. It is difficult to convey a story like hers without things getting stuffy or trite, but she manages to execute it very well.
The biggest issue that I had was that it was a little difficult to follow the plot line. For some reason, towards the middle things started to get a bit murky for me. Some editing and expansion could fix that easily.
All in all, it was a rewarding first novella. And I look forward to reading anything that Cook may continue to write.