RELATIVE FORTUNES BY MARLOWE BENN - BOOK REVIEW

This was a book I was so excited to get into - 1920s Manhattan, the suffrage movement, it all sounded right up my alley! Unfortunately, the execution was a little lacking for my tastes and I had to DNF this one.

Hello everyone!

I am back with another book review, today it is Relative Fortunes by Marlowe Benn. Thanks so much to Little Bird Publicity for sending me an eARC for an honest review. As always, all opinions are my own.


This book follows Julia Kydd, a young woman who returns to New York after the death of her estranged father and the contestation of his will by her half-brother, Phillip. While visiting, one of her friend's sisters, Naomi, is found dead. An outspoken activist of women's suffrage, Naomi had more than one target on her back. However, when the death is ruled a suicide, Julia isn't convinced. Apparently, part of the plot included Phillip suggesting that if Julia can prove Naomi was murdered, he will drop the contestation - however, I didn't make it that far into the book.

As previously mentioned, I didn't end up finishing this book. There was a lot that, in theory, I was really on board with. But my biggest problem was the writing style and pacing, which made it difficult for me to get my usual 100 pages in before making the decision to DNF a book. The language used felt a little ~clunky~ is the best way to describe it. There were a lot of big words, which, I don't have a problem with, in principle, but they just felt like they were thrown in to make the book seem more intellectual than it actually was.

I know a few other reviews have also mentioned the pacing, so I won't discuss it ad nauseam but I think that things took too long to get going to the point where I was invested and wanted to continue. I made it 111 pages in and was still waiting for the wager with Phillip to appear. I don't mind a slower-burn, but if it's in the synopsis, I feel like it should be a part of at least the first third of the book.

I truly am disappointed because the subject matter of this one seemed like it would be something I would really enjoy. However, the lack of any real plot development in the third of the book that I read signalled to me that this one wasn't going to go anywhere any time soon.

Overall, I know some readers who have been able to push past the slower parts did really enjoy this book, and perhaps, if I had the patience to do the same I would have ended up really enjoying it. Even though this one had some problems for me, I would still say pick it up if it sounds interesting to you, who knows, you might love it more than I did.