Bet is sixteen, very intelligent, but only knows as much as her limited education will allow. In Victorian England, girls aren't allowed to go to school. Will is also 16, and though not related by blood, he and Bet act like brother and sister. In fact, they even look like brother and sister. And though they're both raised under the same roof, by the same kind uncle, Will has one big advantage over Bet: He's a boy, and being a boy means he isn't stuck in the grand house they call home. He gets to go out into the world--to school. But that's not what Will wishes. He wants to join the military and learn about real life, not what's written in books.
So one night, Bet comes up with a plan. She'll go to school as Will. Will can join the military. And though it seems impossible, they actually manage to pull it off.
But once Bet gets to the school, she begins to realize the education she's going to get isn't exactly the one she was expecting.
I didn't know exactly what I was getting into with The Education of Bet. I'd seen its gorgeous cover on an ARC tour site, read the synopsis, and signed up for it on the spot. I still haven't actually read any reviews, but I know a few other bloggers that were equally as excited about cracking open the cover as I was.
That being said, I wasn't sure if this was going to be hard-core historical fiction. Even though I really love the genre, it's unusual that I'll pick up an HF book, because I feel like you have to have a certain mood and minset. BUT, I was so pleasantly surprised. Bet was light read, it was easy to slip in and out of the story. Although the tale started off slowly, Bet's humor and naivety quickly roped me in. I laughed at her hilarious mishaps and shook my head at her stupidity. I even wanted to punch (or take a punch from) Hamish for her.
And then there was James. Talk about sweet. I just loved this quote Bet used to describe him:
"I'd read about beauty in books. I'd even seen some of it in the world. But I'd never before seen so much of it gathered up into a single human being."
How can you deny that? You can't, my friends. You just can't.
It's amazing the kind of education you can get from a bunch of boys. Read and learn. :)