Beautiful Days revisits the roaring twenties and our beloved characters from Bright Young Things, Cordelia, Astrid, and Letty. Cordelia's is still reeling from her ordeal, Astrid still struggling with her pseudo-engagement to a brash bootlegger, and Letty still seeking performance fame. Some time has past since the first installment, Bright Young Things, but slipping back into the characters' lives is like stepping into a cool pool on a warm day.
Anna Godbersen writes in a very setting-appropriate style, giving the feel of a book written in the jazz age as well as set in it. The atmosphere of the 1920s was so vividly created and described in its smoky speakeasies and silky fashion. I understand the shortcomings of this time, but I loved the way she romanticised it.
Her prose is a brillant example of third person narration that keeps the distance between us and the characters minimal. It's easier to connect with Astrid, Letty and Cordelia than it is in some first person perspectives. Their emotions were clearly portrayed and relateable, and it was easy to forget that you're not part of their group but just an outsider reading about them.
The romantic pursuits of the characters were so true to the characters, their relationships definitely lending something to their three-dimensional personalities. Pragmatic Cordelia was initially standoffish towards her eventual love interest and hesitant to let him in. Naive Letty took her beau for granted and regretted it. Vibrant and social Astrid worried about sacrificing a part of who she was to her relationship.
While Beautiful Days felt lacking in some of the drama of Bright Young Things, there are so many threads of plot that promise to be addressed in further installments and bring more tension. This series is one I'm sure will continue to keep me entertained.
Anna Godbersen wove an atmospheric story in Beautiful Days and held onto her place as my favourite historical author. This book won't disappoint fans.
I give Beautiful Days a 4 out of 5.