The Name I Choose is an impassioned historical fiction novel written by Holly Brough. The story begins in 1823 and the majority of the story takes place in Spain. The refreshing plot follows the life of a character named Amalia, a young woman who is sent away from her home in the first chapter.
Prior to the first chapter, the author creates a mysterious scene involving three characters, and the story begins as if it were a thriller. The prologue is written in an intense way and leads the reader to wonder how the original characters’ lives will be connected to the rest of the plot.
I enjoyed the details in this historical fiction novel and felt it added much depth to the story. The book reminds readers of what a woman’s place in society was like at that time, and how cruel it can sometimes be. But even though it’s emotional and dark at times, the solid writing and deep exploration of character helps the reader to identify with Amalia’s dilemmas and limitations. Amalia’s interactions with the characters who have a higher status than her remind the reader of the significance class had during this time.
The story feels grounded and authentic, which elevates the emotional impact of the story, but there were still some turn of events that I did not see coming. The main character’s likeability is the best feature of the story. While the beginning of the book is intense, the rest of the story is more methodical, emotional, and thoughtful.
I enjoyed the convincing historical aspects, intriguing characters, and the emotionally-charged plot. I would recommend The Name I Choose to readers who like dramatic historical novels that take place during a pivotal moment in history.
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