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A Bright Young Thing

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In early 1930s England, a young firebrand finds herself on a fraught and dangerous road to independence. In 1931 England, Astra Davies defies all the conventions. Clever, witty, and determined, Astra smokes, drinks, plays a mean piano, and gallivants around London with her beloved Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. But Astra finds herself in a tight spot when her parents die su In early 1930s England, a young firebrand finds herself on a fraught and dangerous road to independence. In 1931 England, Astra Davies defies all the conventions. Clever, witty, and determined, Astra smokes, drinks, plays a mean piano, and gallivants around London with her beloved Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. But Astra finds herself in a tight spot when her parents die suddenly, leaving her with a raft of debts. With few marketable skills and a closet full of family secrets, Astra has two choices: find a rich husband or make her own way. A fiercely driven woman like Astra is not about to cast her lot in with a man, especially out of desperation. And since the only man she fancies--Jeremy Harris, the Earl of Dunreaven--is as hard up as she is, her way forward is clear. But the path to independence is a bumpy one fraught with hazards and heartbreaking choices. A blackmailing socialite threatens to derail Astra's reputation. A brainless business partner just might drive her even further into debt. And a series of bruising scandals dogs her every step of the way. From the bustle of London to the country estates of the aristocracy, Astra embarks on a journey that tests her brains, wit, and mettle as never before. But one way or another, Astra Davies is dead set on proving she's no ordinary Bright Young Thing.


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In early 1930s England, a young firebrand finds herself on a fraught and dangerous road to independence. In 1931 England, Astra Davies defies all the conventions. Clever, witty, and determined, Astra smokes, drinks, plays a mean piano, and gallivants around London with her beloved Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. But Astra finds herself in a tight spot when her parents die su In early 1930s England, a young firebrand finds herself on a fraught and dangerous road to independence. In 1931 England, Astra Davies defies all the conventions. Clever, witty, and determined, Astra smokes, drinks, plays a mean piano, and gallivants around London with her beloved Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. But Astra finds herself in a tight spot when her parents die suddenly, leaving her with a raft of debts. With few marketable skills and a closet full of family secrets, Astra has two choices: find a rich husband or make her own way. A fiercely driven woman like Astra is not about to cast her lot in with a man, especially out of desperation. And since the only man she fancies--Jeremy Harris, the Earl of Dunreaven--is as hard up as she is, her way forward is clear. But the path to independence is a bumpy one fraught with hazards and heartbreaking choices. A blackmailing socialite threatens to derail Astra's reputation. A brainless business partner just might drive her even further into debt. And a series of bruising scandals dogs her every step of the way. From the bustle of London to the country estates of the aristocracy, Astra embarks on a journey that tests her brains, wit, and mettle as never before. But one way or another, Astra Davies is dead set on proving she's no ordinary Bright Young Thing.

30 review for A Bright Young Thing

  1. 5 out of 5

    Marilyn

    A Bright Young Thing by Brianne Moore had a very captivating and entertaining storyline. It was a historical fiction book that took place in England in the 1930’s. Just the right amount of drama and romance were woven into the plot to make it memorable. I listened to the audiobook that was very well narrated by Shiromi Arserio. There were elements of mystery, love, family, survival, class distinction, dark family secrets, scheming lady socialites and a determined heroine throughout A Bright Youn A Bright Young Thing by Brianne Moore had a very captivating and entertaining storyline. It was a historical fiction book that took place in England in the 1930’s. Just the right amount of drama and romance were woven into the plot to make it memorable. I listened to the audiobook that was very well narrated by Shiromi Arserio. There were elements of mystery, love, family, survival, class distinction, dark family secrets, scheming lady socialites and a determined heroine throughout A Bright Young Thing that helped to make it such an enjoyable book. Astra Davies was an only child who lived a life of indulgence. Her world consisted of parties, lots of friends, smoking an occasional cigarette, having some drinks with good friends, shopping for couture dresses and not having a care in the world. She was twenty-three years old and was enjoying her life. Astra was clever, witty, bright, resilient, determined and clueless when it came to anything about finances. Her whirlwind life came abruptly to an end when she learned that both of her parents had been killed in a car crash. Astra was soon advised that her dear father had lost most of his money because he made several bad investments. Astra was left with only her family home, Hensley, and shares in a rubber company that was doing poorly. She was advised that she could not afford to continue living at Hensley but would have to rent it out and perhaps even sell it at some point. Astra was devastated and embarrassed to tell any of her friends about her dire situation. She was determined to find a solution to her problems but she was unsure how to go about it. The one thing Astra knew for sure was that finding a rich husband was not the easy fix she was searching for. Astra moved into her Aunt El’s house. She had no other choice. Her aunt was determined to marry her off. Astra put one foot in front of the other and started to work on improving her current situation. She knew that she could not depend on anyone else. It was going to take research and a whole new outlook on her life but she knew she was capable if she put her mind to it. There were obstacles along the way, though. Her biggest thorn in her side was Millicent who was constantly trying to ruin Astra’s reputation by spreading vicious lies about her. The best part about Astra’s life was Jeremy Harris, the Earl of Dunreaven. Would Astra be able to prove her innocence and get drunken Freddy on board to help her salvage the rubber company that they both owned? Could she discredit Millicent and win back her friends and the people she cared the most about? Could she visualize a future with Jeremy in it? Would it be possible to make all those that mattered the most to Astra not just see her as just another “bright young thing”? I really enjoyed listening to A Bright Young Thing by Brianne Moore. This was the first book that I had the privilege of reading by Brianne Moore but I will look forward to reading more of her books in the future. A Bright Young Thing glimpsed into the lives of the families of nobility living in England in the 1930’s with their elaborate homes and gardens. I loved the character of Astra and found myself rooting for her to succeed. The story kept me engaged and interested to find out what would happen next. I highly recommend this book. Thank you to Dreamscape Media LLC for allowing me to listen to A Bright Young Thing by Brianne Moore through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Karren Sandercock

    Astra Davies has recently lost her parents, she moves to London to live with her Aunt Elinor and cousin Toby. Financially, her circumstances are grim, she needs to curb her spending and rent out Hensley the family estate. Her Aunt points out the obvious solution to her problem, to get married, Astra isn’t keen to give up her independence and become a decoration on a man’s arm. She has the support of her friends, Joyce and David, they invite her to parties, weddings, country gatherings, and they Astra Davies has recently lost her parents, she moves to London to live with her Aunt Elinor and cousin Toby. Financially, her circumstances are grim, she needs to curb her spending and rent out Hensley the family estate. Her Aunt points out the obvious solution to her problem, to get married, Astra isn’t keen to give up her independence and become a decoration on a man’s arm. She has the support of her friends, Joyce and David, they invite her to parties, weddings, country gatherings, and they cheer her up and give her a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel puppy. It's hard for Astra to forget about her money problems, she had no idea about her parents financial woes and she’s left to sort out the mess. Her father invested money in a company called Vandemark, it makes tires and Freddie Ponsonby-Lewis is in charge. Astra’s business partner likes a drink, has trouble making conversation and she’s determined to make both Freddie and Vandemark successful. A payment is made every month to a place called Rosedale, she has no idea why and it’s a big family secret. Astra meets Jeremy Harris the Earl of Dunreaven, they have a lot in common, both have lost their parents and he owns a crumbling estate called Midbourne in Sussex. A person is making Astra’s life miserable, trying to ruin her reputation, and she’s worried the Earl will find out, the only man to make her heart flutter and talk about bad timing. Set in England in the 1930’s, A Bright Young Thing takes you from London’s drawing rooms, to the country estates of the English nobility and to the fashion show rooms of Paris. Astra Davies is smart, funny, kind and she deserves to live happily ever after, with a certain Earl and to create a beautiful garden together at Midbourne. The story was interesting and it gives you a glimpse into upper crust English life, thanks to NetGalley for my copy and four stars from me. https://karrenreadsbooks.blogspot.com/

  3. 4 out of 5

    Maja - BibliophiliaDK ✨

    DID NOT WOW ME This was neither a good or a bad book. To me, it was just kind of blah. I never really got a sense of what kind of book it wanted to be. A historical mystery? A historical romance? Or perhaps a historical drama? I think I spend too much time trying to figure this out that the rest of the book never really managed to make an impact on me... ARC provided by the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review Follow me for more book loving content! Blog ✨ Facebook ✨ Inst DID NOT WOW ME This was neither a good or a bad book. To me, it was just kind of blah. I never really got a sense of what kind of book it wanted to be. A historical mystery? A historical romance? Or perhaps a historical drama? I think I spend too much time trying to figure this out that the rest of the book never really managed to make an impact on me... ARC provided by the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review Follow me for more book loving content! Blog ✨ Facebook ✨ Instagram ✨ Twitter Blog Post: 11 Ways to Get over a Reading Slump

  4. 5 out of 5

    Abbie | nerdyabbie

    Fans of Downton Abbey & Bringing Down the Duke will enjoy this tale of perseverance set in 1930s Britain full of snobbish Lords & Ladies. While the writing felt a little lackluster, this was still a nice read! The dialogue was full of British witticisms and super quick - I loved it. Astra's rise to independence was really inspirational, and her friends were truly hilarious. I definitely imagined Joyce as Lady Mary from Downton Abbey. She was my favorite! "Darling, are you alright? God, she's aw Fans of Downton Abbey & Bringing Down the Duke will enjoy this tale of perseverance set in 1930s Britain full of snobbish Lords & Ladies. While the writing felt a little lackluster, this was still a nice read! The dialogue was full of British witticisms and super quick - I loved it. Astra's rise to independence was really inspirational, and her friends were truly hilarious. I definitely imagined Joyce as Lady Mary from Downton Abbey. She was my favorite! "Darling, are you alright? God, she's awful, isn't she? Do you want me to poison her tea? I'll do it, you know." Toby was also hilarious. Everything was adorably British, I loved it 😂 My spine stiffened as soon as I saw her, but Toby drawled: "Afternoon, Mums." "Tobias!" his mother gasped. "You're smoking!" Her hand reflexively clutched the cross she wore around her neck. All in all, while I found Astra a little hard to connect with (as well as her love interest), this was still a very pleasant read. Would make a great tv series on BBC 😉 Thank you to Alcove Press for sending me an ARC copy of this book! Writing Quality: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ Characterization: ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆ .75 Dialogue: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ Plot: ★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ Enjoyment Level: ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆ 「 Overall: ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆ 」

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    This was a delightful, very entertaining historical fiction sprinkled with clean romance. It’s told during the 1930s, when England was experiencing changes but status was still everything. It didn’t feel like Downton Abby to me but it did have house parties with Frenemies, Earls and the like. I loved Astra, she was a strong, confident, very likable woman who was determined to make it. The romance was a slow burn and oh so sweet. I very much enjoyed it. I highly recommend it for anyone who loves This was a delightful, very entertaining historical fiction sprinkled with clean romance. It’s told during the 1930s, when England was experiencing changes but status was still everything. It didn’t feel like Downton Abby to me but it did have house parties with Frenemies, Earls and the like. I loved Astra, she was a strong, confident, very likable woman who was determined to make it. The romance was a slow burn and oh so sweet. I very much enjoyed it. I highly recommend it for anyone who loves a good British story. I chose to listen to this book on audio and Shiromi Arserio narrator it and she was a delight. It was 11 hours 39 minutes of easy listening. Thanks Dreamscape Media via Netgalley.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Debby*BabyDee

    A Bright Young Thing by Brianne Moore is a first time read by this author. The story takes place in England and the heroine is Astra Davies, a pampered young woman who is very spirited in nature, i.e., one who smokes, drinks and is carefree. After the unexpected death of her parents, she is told that her father also left her with a mountain of debt. As a result of becoming close to being impoverished, she moves in with her aunt and let out her family home to gain a modest income to take care of A Bright Young Thing by Brianne Moore is a first time read by this author. The story takes place in England and the heroine is Astra Davies, a pampered young woman who is very spirited in nature, i.e., one who smokes, drinks and is carefree. After the unexpected death of her parents, she is told that her father also left her with a mountain of debt. As a result of becoming close to being impoverished, she moves in with her aunt and let out her family home to gain a modest income to take care of her neccessities. Living with her aunt, the heroine is determined to find a way care for herself and learn to manage her own business affairs. To add to her concerns are the multiple family secrets and scandals. I love the fact that heroine is a driven individual during a time when it was uncommon for women to take charge of their lives and making independent and financial decisions, The heroine is a character that you would not mind being in her cheering corner, She grows on you and is a likeable person. My view of the overall book is that the author did a good job of developing the various relationships of the subcharacters and the friendships made by the heroine. What kept my interest was the secrets, blackmail, rumors and the sweet and light-hearted moments in the story. Although I thought the plot of the story was good, however it dragged until half way through the book and I had to push myself to the end. Thank you to NetGalley and Alcove Press for the ARC for a fair and honest review. All opnions in this review are my own.

  7. 4 out of 5

    rat

    I received an e-arc through netgalley I think it just wasn't for me.I couldn't connect with the writing nor with the characters or the story :/ I received an e-arc through netgalley I think it just wasn't for me.I couldn't connect with the writing nor with the characters or the story :/

  8. 5 out of 5

    Donna McEachran

    Thanks to Netgalley for a copy of this book for an honest review. What a lovely book!! Astra is headstrong and pushing boundaries. Love Jeremy and Toby!! Will be enjoyed by fans of Downton Abbey!!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Davida Chazan

    This is one of those books that I came to with no expectations and was very surprised at how very much I enjoyed it. Read more on my blog here. https://tcl-bookreviews.com/2021/09/0... This is one of those books that I came to with no expectations and was very surprised at how very much I enjoyed it. Read more on my blog here. https://tcl-bookreviews.com/2021/09/0...

  10. 5 out of 5

    Desiree

    It's the early 1930's in England and as the world around her continues to show unrest, Astra Davies is thankful her life seems simple...until it's not. After her parents tragically pass in an automobile accident Astra is left to collect the shambles and put her life back together, only to find out a jumble of secrets; including that her father left her debt-ridden. Does Astra compromise herself and her beliefs and marry rich, or does she take life by the horns and try to make her own way? Of cou It's the early 1930's in England and as the world around her continues to show unrest, Astra Davies is thankful her life seems simple...until it's not. After her parents tragically pass in an automobile accident Astra is left to collect the shambles and put her life back together, only to find out a jumble of secrets; including that her father left her debt-ridden. Does Astra compromise herself and her beliefs and marry rich, or does she take life by the horns and try to make her own way? Of course, whichever choice she makes it isn't going to be an easy road. I ended up giving this novel a 4 star rating. I thoroughly enjoy historical fictions set in this era! Astra's story was amazing and kept me interested from start to finish. What I thought was going to be a simple fiction with a bit of romance turned out to be much more! Mystery seemed to be there at every corner, as well as dealing with some taboo topics of the times (unhappy marriages, family members with physical and mental disabilities, infidelity). I was so thrilled that the center-stage of this story was Astra coming to terms with her losses, learning from her mistakes, strengthening her friendships, struggling with honesty in the face of being cast-out by those she loves, growing into a businesswoman, and becoming an all-around strong, independent woman. I was waiting for it to become all about the romance but it didn't! It was part of the sub-plot and other characters lives but was not the main point of Astra's which I really liked. The story was fast-paced and came to a beautiful conclusion that I was so satisfied with. Some of the characters were a bit hard to handle as they seemed so shallow and vapid, but then again it may have been the era and what was expected of those types of people in that time. Was definitely a great read to get me out of the reading slump I was slipping into! Thanks to NetGalley and Alcove Press for the eARC in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    A Bright Young Thing by Brianne Moore is a wonderful historical fiction novel that takes place in the 1930s and brings to light what happens to our identity when our world comes crashing down around us. Do we crumble and give up in the face of adversity or do we pull up ourselves by our bootstraps, move on, and find ourselves in the process? This is what this book means to me. When everything that Astra Davies knows and believes is taken away from her, she has a pivotal moment. Does she succumb A Bright Young Thing by Brianne Moore is a wonderful historical fiction novel that takes place in the 1930s and brings to light what happens to our identity when our world comes crashing down around us. Do we crumble and give up in the face of adversity or do we pull up ourselves by our bootstraps, move on, and find ourselves in the process? This is what this book means to me. When everything that Astra Davies knows and believes is taken away from her, she has a pivotal moment. Does she succumb or does she take a fresh look at who she is, how she has been raised, questions what she has always seen and been taught, and try to make sense of the world not as she knows it, but as it really is? Yes, she does. There are some bumps along the way, as Astra has a lot to answer for and learn, but she gets there. I really loved Astra’s journey. Yes, what she has lost is disheartening, but I think she finds in this her true inner strength, fire, and intelligence. I found her transformation, mistakes and all, uplifting and enjoyable. I also loved the threads of mystery, suspense, and romance that were threaded into the novel. It added complexity and really added to the overall narrative. I enjoyed reading about the relationships, the societal changes, and the time period of early 1930s in England is a unique addition to the historical fiction genre. 5/5 stars Thank you NG and Alcove Press for this ARC and in return I am submitting my unbiased and voluntary review and opinion. I am posting this review to my GR and Bookbub accounts immediately and will post it to my Amazon, Instagram, and B&N accounts upon publication.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Haley

    If you want to read about a young woman rising to the challenge and taking control of her life on her own terms, then this is the book for you! I really loved how the author balanced Astra's quest to take care of herself and her romance with Jeremy. There was laughter, there was heartbreak, there was romance and there were some great twists. I liked the book's dive into how our homes, and the people in them, shape who we become. It was refreshing to read a book set in the early 1930's rather tha If you want to read about a young woman rising to the challenge and taking control of her life on her own terms, then this is the book for you! I really loved how the author balanced Astra's quest to take care of herself and her romance with Jeremy. There was laughter, there was heartbreak, there was romance and there were some great twists. I liked the book's dive into how our homes, and the people in them, shape who we become. It was refreshing to read a book set in the early 1930's rather than WWI or WWII. I really enjoyed this one! Thank you to NetGalley and Alcove Press for access to this arc.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Sherri

    ***I received an ARC from Net Galley in exchange for my honest review In 1931 England, Astra Davies lives a life of luxury. She gallivants around London with her group of friends, partying, smoking & drinking, with not a care in the world......until the day her world comes crashing down around her that is. Her parents go out for a short drive, only planning to be gone a couple of hours, but never return. They are in a fatal car crash, and Astra's life will never be the same. She finds out that th ***I received an ARC from Net Galley in exchange for my honest review In 1931 England, Astra Davies lives a life of luxury. She gallivants around London with her group of friends, partying, smoking & drinking, with not a care in the world......until the day her world comes crashing down around her that is. Her parents go out for a short drive, only planning to be gone a couple of hours, but never return. They are in a fatal car crash, and Astra's life will never be the same. She finds out that they left her penniless and she has two choices: find a rich husband or make her own way. Since the only man she fancies--Jeremy Harris, the Earl of Dunreaven--is as hard up as she is, Astra goes into business with one of her friends. However, he spends most of his time drunk and has no head for business, so Astra has her work cut out for her trying to get Freddie to shape up and get serious. Then there is Millicent, who is doing her level best to ruin Astra, and is blackmailing her. Astra is determined to prove she is not just a typical Birght Young Thing. This book was really good. It did start a little slow, but it didn't take too long before it picked up, and once it did it was well worth the wait. You really wanted to root for Astra, and watch her succeed. This had a very captivating storyline, with interesting characters, characters to root for (like Astra and Jeremy), and characters you wanted to see get their comeuppance (like Millicent). It gave off a sort of British soap opera vibe, like Downton Abbey. So if you enjoyed that show, you will love this book. I highly recommend it.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Jay

    A Bright Young Thing is a riches to rags story that follows Astra after the death of her parents. She now has a bunch of debt and no real idea of how the world works, so her family and friends are eager for her to get married. However, Astra has different ideas as she's determined to learn how to adult. When Astra trades flirtations with Jeremy, her friend's awful sister (who also had her eye on Jeremy) will stop at nothing to ruin Astra's reputation. I have a hard time rating this book. I didn't A Bright Young Thing is a riches to rags story that follows Astra after the death of her parents. She now has a bunch of debt and no real idea of how the world works, so her family and friends are eager for her to get married. However, Astra has different ideas as she's determined to learn how to adult. When Astra trades flirtations with Jeremy, her friend's awful sister (who also had her eye on Jeremy) will stop at nothing to ruin Astra's reputation. I have a hard time rating this book. I didn't hate it, but I didn't love it either. I think Astra is a great character, and I love that she works hard to find solutions to her problems that don't include marriage. I listened to the audiobook read by Shiromi Arserio and she was AMAZING. She did exercise, smoking, and running voices. It really made the audiobook for me. I think if I hadn't listened to the audio I probably would have rated this lower because the story isn't very exciting. And Millicent is a horrible person. I find it hard to believe that someone would go to all that trouble for a man who wasn't even interested in her. If you pick this up, I definitely recommend the audiobook. Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for this ALC.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Evie

    Astra’s world as she knows it changes overnight when she loses her parents. As she gets over her grief, she discovers not everything was as it seemed. Her parents kept things for her that now she has to face and make decisions that will change the course of her life for better or for worse. I thought Astra was a pretty strong character and not a naive young girl as everyone thought of her. She stood up for herself, questioned things that didn’t seem right, and did what she had to do to survive in Astra’s world as she knows it changes overnight when she loses her parents. As she gets over her grief, she discovers not everything was as it seemed. Her parents kept things for her that now she has to face and make decisions that will change the course of her life for better or for worse. I thought Astra was a pretty strong character and not a naive young girl as everyone thought of her. She stood up for herself, questioned things that didn’t seem right, and did what she had to do to survive in an era where women of her class weren’t very much in business. Her cousin Tobias was a funny character, and I could totally picture him as the author described him. Millicent was as hateful as she sounded, and the rest of the friends were great secondary characters. I enjoyed how Astra’s relationship with Jeremy developed. I thought it was sweet. The problem I have with this book is how it ended. It was an abrupt ending. I get that perhaps the author didn’t want it to be like every other HEA, but it was still too abrupt. I don’t know, perhaps there should’ve been an epilogue where Astra and Jeremy visit Raymond or something. Overall, I enjoyed it…except for the ending. I wanted to close the loop on what happened after Jeremy leaves her home.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Lauren Morgan

    In 1930s England, Astra Davies must quickly deal with the aftermath of the unexpected deaths of her parents. She learns to trust herself to manage the estate and business they left her along with multiple family secrets and scandals. During a time when it was rare for a woman to make her own financial decisions, Astra is driven and independent. She's an extremely likeable character that will have readers cheering her on. The overall atmosphere of the book reminded me a lot of the Downton Abbey t In 1930s England, Astra Davies must quickly deal with the aftermath of the unexpected deaths of her parents. She learns to trust herself to manage the estate and business they left her along with multiple family secrets and scandals. During a time when it was rare for a woman to make her own financial decisions, Astra is driven and independent. She's an extremely likeable character that will have readers cheering her on. The overall atmosphere of the book reminded me a lot of the Downton Abbey tv series filled with blackmail and rumors with a lot of heartfelt moments. Astra herself was very similar to Downton's character Mary and her love interest gave me major Matthew vibes from the same show. This book was a comforting delight and a perfect escape. I highly recommend it for any historical fiction or romance fans. Thanks to NetGalley and Alcove Press for my ARC.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Judith von Kirchbach

    This was a great book - I loved diving into the time after the Great Depression but before World War II and into the crumbling world of England‘s landed gentry at the time. Astra Davies has to learn quite quickly to handle „her“ business against society that does not want young women concerned with business matters after her parent’s die and leave her much less well off than expected … She needs to grow up and take the reins and shape her destiny and she does so against a well painted historical This was a great book - I loved diving into the time after the Great Depression but before World War II and into the crumbling world of England‘s landed gentry at the time. Astra Davies has to learn quite quickly to handle „her“ business against society that does not want young women concerned with business matters after her parent’s die and leave her much less well off than expected … She needs to grow up and take the reins and shape her destiny and she does so against a well painted historical backdrop. Astra starts out merely reacting through the first couple of chapters, and it’s not until the second half that she moves from being quite passive to an active participant in her destiny. This shift feels very authentic to Astra’s character development. She was coddled and she is shocked to find herself orphaned after an accident. As she uncovers secrets and encounters hardships, she grows and adapts, and the transformation is satisfying to behold. I loved that the author used language and dialogue that transported me back to the early 30s. I enjoyed my reading a lot ! Thank you to NetGalley and Alcove Press for providing me with an eARC in exchange for an honest review !

  18. 5 out of 5

    Morgan Rosamond

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Astra Davies finds herself with next to nothing after the sudden death of both her parents. As she works to lessen her debts, she uncovers family secrets that only add to her troubles. To add to all this, she turns twenty-four at the start of 1931 and she is still unmarried, something almost unheard of at the time, but the only man who is even worth her time, Jeremy Harris, is also out on his luck. With her best friend’s sister blackmailing her and her business partner drinking himself into failu Astra Davies finds herself with next to nothing after the sudden death of both her parents. As she works to lessen her debts, she uncovers family secrets that only add to her troubles. To add to all this, she turns twenty-four at the start of 1931 and she is still unmarried, something almost unheard of at the time, but the only man who is even worth her time, Jeremy Harris, is also out on his luck. With her best friend’s sister blackmailing her and her business partner drinking himself into failure, she has to find a way to succeed by teaching herself how to be a businesswoman. Over the course of the novel, she proves she’s not just “a bright young thing.” Instead, she is a determined woman who realizes that hard work can make anything possible. The book ends with her picking up her pen and returning to her work (after selling her family home in order to put the past behind her and make new memories), but not before Jeremy proposes in a way that would leave even Mr. Darcy without words. This book gives such Pride and Prejudice vibes, but during the Great Depression era. Such an amazing read!!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Emily

    I really enjoyed reading this book - it was comforting and empowering. There are few things I like more in a book than strong friendships, a smart protagonist, and well-written dialogue, and this book had all of that! I loved reading Astra's story as she navigates society in the aftermath of the deaths of her parents. She finds support in her friends (who've always had her back, since being in school together - loved that!) and people who see her for who she is. Astra takes absolute no B.S. from I really enjoyed reading this book - it was comforting and empowering. There are few things I like more in a book than strong friendships, a smart protagonist, and well-written dialogue, and this book had all of that! I loved reading Astra's story as she navigates society in the aftermath of the deaths of her parents. She finds support in her friends (who've always had her back, since being in school together - loved that!) and people who see her for who she is. Astra takes absolute no B.S. from people who don't like her, people who are trying to ruin her reputation, and people who underestimate her because she's "just a woman", and I adore her for it. Thank you to the publisher for providing me a digital ARC of A Bright Young Thing via NetGalley!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Kathleen Basi

    This book was simply a delight, from start to finish. Socialite Astra Davies is unmoored. In a few short months, she's lost her parents, her home, and (with the discovery of a bunch of scandalous secrets) her sense of who her family is. Forced to live with an aunt who really doesn't like her and threatened with social ruin if her circumstances come to light, she's basically got two choices: get married or, well, get married. But it's 1931, and Astra decides to hammer a new door into her future. W This book was simply a delight, from start to finish. Socialite Astra Davies is unmoored. In a few short months, she's lost her parents, her home, and (with the discovery of a bunch of scandalous secrets) her sense of who her family is. Forced to live with an aunt who really doesn't like her and threatened with social ruin if her circumstances come to light, she's basically got two choices: get married or, well, get married. But it's 1931, and Astra decides to hammer a new door into her future. Watching her transform from well-meaning but totally unprepared socialite to an unstoppable force will have you cheering one very page. From the horrible aunt to the horrible social climber, to Astra's zany and glass ceiling-smashing set of friends, this was, as I said, a delight from page one on. I could not put it down.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Lori Sinsel Harris

    I truly enjoy reading books set during the 20s and 30s, and this one, although not too full of history details does set the stage nicely for the upper-crust of London society and what life was like for young women of a certain stature in that society. The story begins with Astra a young woman, rather well to do, who moves in high-society circles, getting horrific news that both of her parents perished in a car accident. That is only the beginning of Astrid's problems. A visit from the family sol I truly enjoy reading books set during the 20s and 30s, and this one, although not too full of history details does set the stage nicely for the upper-crust of London society and what life was like for young women of a certain stature in that society. The story begins with Astra a young woman, rather well to do, who moves in high-society circles, getting horrific news that both of her parents perished in a car accident. That is only the beginning of Astrid's problems. A visit from the family solicitor and her Aunt Elinor leave Astrid in shock. Her status in society is suddenly in peril when she is told her parents were not as well-off as thought and her only inheritance are a huge debt, the family home and one slovenly run business barely staying out of the red. Trying to hide her near penniless state, Astrid leases her home out and moves in with her aunt and cousin in London. After encountering a friend's sister who is Astrid's lifelong sworn enemy rumors begin to circulate, putting her tentative position in society and her aunt's household in jeopardy, leaving Astrid on the verge of becoming homeless. Astrid begins a slow transformation from a frivolous young woman, into a upstanding, take-charge adult once she comes to terms with the fact that her parents were only human, they made mistakes and had secrets and no one ever gets ahead by sitting back and waiting for things to happen. Seeing she has only herself to depend on and discovering she is committed to other responsibilities that depend upon her, Astrid begins a journey of growth and development into a mature adult woman who can fend for herself in a time where it was not fashionable for young women to do so. Great story-line, amusing characters and a strong female protagonist make this a quick-gripping novel of high society, friendships, secrets, and betrayals. I would recommend to all historical fiction fans of depression era or London elite set novels. Very fast and entertaining. Thank you to Alcove Press and Net Galley for the free ARC of this novel, I am leaving my honest review in return.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Darlene

    Astra is in dire straights after her parents die leaving her a struggling tire company and little funds to keep up the lifestyle she is accustomed to. She moves in with her aunt and must find a suitable husband before people find out just how penniless she is and her marriage prospects dry up, but another debutant with a secret of her own is determined to put a wrench in Astra's plans. I liked that this book was a little out of the norm for recent historical fiction. While so many are set in eith Astra is in dire straights after her parents die leaving her a struggling tire company and little funds to keep up the lifestyle she is accustomed to. She moves in with her aunt and must find a suitable husband before people find out just how penniless she is and her marriage prospects dry up, but another debutant with a secret of her own is determined to put a wrench in Astra's plans. I liked that this book was a little out of the norm for recent historical fiction. While so many are set in either WWI or WWII, this is in between during the Great Depression. It deals with how the depression affected Europe, which I don't get to read about often. I really enjoyed the main character. Astra is a strong, modern woman who does not shrink away from a challenge. Rather than focusing on snagging the most eligible bachelor, like her aunt would like her to, she jumps into turning the tire company her parents left her from the brink of bankruptcy into a success. In an era where women of her social class were expected to keep their noses out of business, Astra realized that her social class would slip away from her if she didn't. I love reading about strong women and they are definitely a hallmark of historical fiction lately, but I would almost categorize these stories as "alternate history." Those there were definitely some strong women in actual history, they were few and far between. These modern stories really put forward a "what if" that I think is important to think about even if they are not very realistic. What if more young women bucked tradition like Astra did in this novel? What if women were welcomed into the business world much earlier than they were? What can we learn from these stories? Those are the questions I like pondering most. I really liked A Bright Young Thing and I think Astra is a character we can all root for and look up to. I would love to read a sequel to see where she goes from here.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Mystica

    1930s England must have been a very difficult time for young women who had a yen for independence. They had a peak at it during WWI, got all their freedom taken back at the end of it and were expected to go back to a Victorian age. The plight that befell Astra Davies was similar. Her parents dying in a freak accident, her taken in by an unwilling Aunt, no monies available for survival and no skills at all for her to survive on her own. Astra realized soon after the death of her parents that thing 1930s England must have been a very difficult time for young women who had a yen for independence. They had a peak at it during WWI, got all their freedom taken back at the end of it and were expected to go back to a Victorian age. The plight that befell Astra Davies was similar. Her parents dying in a freak accident, her taken in by an unwilling Aunt, no monies available for survival and no skills at all for her to survive on her own. Astra realized soon after the death of her parents that things were really bad. The only way out, as touted by her Aunt was a rich marriage. Suitors were there in plenty but on Astra's side she had to hide the fact that she was almost destitute. What she thought was a comfortable living was a lie, her father had invested badly had lost it all. When Astra realized that she had been living in a coccoon, she took the reins into her own hands and tried to slowly uncover the secrets her parents had hidden from her, in a foolish bid of protection. From discovering a simple minded young man, purported to be her brother in an institute, to fraudulent withdrawal of monies due to her by her lawyer, her own Aunt's hand in witholding information and a virulent, psychopathic jealous woman amongst her circle who is ready to destroy Astra's reputation in anyway possible to get rid of her from the social scene. The last was the vituperative bit and unimaginable to what lengths a jealous woman would go to bring down a rival. It was fascinating reading and as the story unfolds the importance of "what will society say" seems paramount for society at the time and anything and everything was done to maintain one's position just so. Very descriptive of the times, very descriptive of the main characters in this story this was a really interesting book to read.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Asrar Lydia

    I received a free review copy from netgalley in exchange for an honest review! Oh, how I enjoyed this book guys, It was just the perfect thing for me to read in my slump. It was intriguing, fast paced and the ROMANCE was absolutely swoon worthy! Our main character, Astra, finds herself in a difficult situation as her parents die and leave her not only an orphan - but an almost penniless one at that. As she is trying to handle her economical situation at hand, she also has to face down her nemesis I received a free review copy from netgalley in exchange for an honest review! Oh, how I enjoyed this book guys, It was just the perfect thing for me to read in my slump. It was intriguing, fast paced and the ROMANCE was absolutely swoon worthy! Our main character, Astra, finds herself in a difficult situation as her parents die and leave her not only an orphan - but an almost penniless one at that. As she is trying to handle her economical situation at hand, she also has to face down her nemesis who is desperately trying to ruin her reputation and with that - her future marriage prospects and any shred of respect. Family secrets are uncovered on both sides, and the drama is REAL. I found myself gassssssping at a few passages, because of the AUDACITY of said nemesis! Astra was a really likeable main character, I found her funny and relatable and she was an overall fun character to read about. What I liked most about her was without doubt her wittyness, she always has a retort and is seldom left speechless. I loveeee my heroines mouthy so this was a big + for me! And Lord Dunreaven, sigh. Such a swoon worthy love interest! He wasn't just handsome, he was smart and funny and reliable and JUST WHAT I NEEDED when reading this baby! The writing was really easily read, the story was fast paced and the side characters also got their respective side plots and time in the limelight. I really felt the connection between the main character and her friends, which made them all that much more real to me. I also loved the fact that the book is set in the 1930's, and the author takes up some issues such as anti-semitism and extreme poverty which were very much present during this time. Overall this was a really fun and cute romance read, perfect for when you need a pick-me-up!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Kristina

    Set in 1930s England, A Bright Young Thing follows socialite Astra Davies as she navigates her way through the fallout of her parents’ deaths— and the resulting financial ruin she finds herself in. With a nemesis, societal pressures, freshly unburied family secrets, and quickly dwindling funds, Astra faces many problems but not a lot of time to fix them.  Author Brianne Moore skillfully imbued the story with dialogue and details that speak to the historical context surrounding the characters. She Set in 1930s England, A Bright Young Thing follows socialite Astra Davies as she navigates her way through the fallout of her parents’ deaths— and the resulting financial ruin she finds herself in. With a nemesis, societal pressures, freshly unburied family secrets, and quickly dwindling funds, Astra faces many problems but not a lot of time to fix them.  Author Brianne Moore skillfully imbued the story with dialogue and details that speak to the historical context surrounding the characters. She also did a fantastic job illustrating the various characters’ personalities, quirks, and motives, resulting in a richly defined cast and dynamic interactions. The result is an energetic historical fiction read with character complexity and just the right amount of nuance to keep the story interesting but not overwhelming. Heavy in exposition, I found the first half to amble, featuring primarily background rather than movement. Any real action doesn’t occur until halfway into the book. Astra does a great deal of merely reacting through many chapters, and it’s not until the second half that she moves from being frustratingly passive to an active participant in her destiny. But this shift aligns with Astra’s character development. As she uncovers secrets and encounters hardships, she grows and adapts, and the transformation is satisfying to behold. This post is adapted from my review originally published here. 📚 Connect with me on Instagram

  26. 5 out of 5

    Connie

    At age 23, Astra’s parents were killed in a car crash. Later, she learns that her father had lost all his money and all she was left from him is their large manor home, Hensley, and some shares in a rubber company. She is given some time to grieve and then told that there is no money to keep up the home so she must rent it and go live with her Aunt El in London. As she had been used to living in luxury with nary a thought of what things cost, she is having to learn all this on her own. Astra quic At age 23, Astra’s parents were killed in a car crash. Later, she learns that her father had lost all his money and all she was left from him is their large manor home, Hensley, and some shares in a rubber company. She is given some time to grieve and then told that there is no money to keep up the home so she must rent it and go live with her Aunt El in London. As she had been used to living in luxury with nary a thought of what things cost, she is having to learn all this on her own. Astra quickly finds how uncertain her future is without the support of her family. Many of her friends step in to have her to house parties and comfort her. However, there is one young woman who seems to be very jealous of her and is doing all she can to ruin Astra’s life. She is determined to do what she can to make her own way in life without having to find a rich husband which some of her friends have done. When she encounters a family secret that could explode, she decides to embrace it with her strength and determination. She has always cared for one man but is not sure her love is reciprocal. I found this to be an excellent depiction of the time period. Many families were holding on trying to keep their homes and family life like it has always been. Unfortunately, many of them had to sell out and thus the downfall of exquisite homes were lost. Astra’s Aunt El and the young woman trying to ruin her life were wicked people and - spoiler here - seeing them get their comeuppances was perfect. While the book is rather long, the story is great. Copy provided by NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Lauren Vail

    I received an e-ARC of this book on NetGalley from the publisher. Astra Davies is a 1930s socialite and daughter of a gentleman. When her parents die suddenly in a car accident, she is left with mounting debts thanks to her father's poor investments and the family's home, which she cannot afford the upkeep. Forced to move in with her mother's sister and her cousin, the lovable Toby, she keeps the secret of her poverty from her friends whilst her aunt encourages her to marry quickly to any gentle I received an e-ARC of this book on NetGalley from the publisher. Astra Davies is a 1930s socialite and daughter of a gentleman. When her parents die suddenly in a car accident, she is left with mounting debts thanks to her father's poor investments and the family's home, which she cannot afford the upkeep. Forced to move in with her mother's sister and her cousin, the lovable Toby, she keeps the secret of her poverty from her friends whilst her aunt encourages her to marry quickly to any gentleman that will have her. Meanwhile, Astra, with the help of Toby, comb through documents uncovering hidden family secrets as Astra tries to find her place in this new world while embroiled in a fight with Lady Millicent, the older sister of her best friend, regarding the affections of Jeremy, the Earl of Dunreaven. I appreciated that Astra refused to marry the first rich gentleman that would have her, and she is very upfront with Jeremy that she is not looking to be his wife, not to lead him on even though they both hold a deep affection for each other. The ending was very joyful for me - when Astra finally decides to let her friends in on her struggles - they rally around her. Her friends were so rich and colourful in personality... A lovely quartet of differing personalities. Also, she ultimately convinces Jeremy that he needs to adopt her "can-do" attitude. If he wants to remain the steward of his family's lands rather than sell up and be rid of them, he too will need to adopt her entrepreneurial spirit.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Brenda

    Set in England in 1931, A Bright Young Thing is beautifully written, smart, witty and sharp. This is one of my favourite eras to read about and I quickly fell in love with the upstairs/downstairs story. It is such fun to read about the class divisions and relationships between ladies and ladies' maids as well as amongst the aristocracy. Though some then are wealthy beyond description, people are people and experience difficulties and heartaches. We see some of that here along with blackmail, dec Set in England in 1931, A Bright Young Thing is beautifully written, smart, witty and sharp. This is one of my favourite eras to read about and I quickly fell in love with the upstairs/downstairs story. It is such fun to read about the class divisions and relationships between ladies and ladies' maids as well as amongst the aristocracy. Though some then are wealthy beyond description, people are people and experience difficulties and heartaches. We see some of that here along with blackmail, deception and secrets galore. In her twenties and fiercely independent, Astra Davies is of the upper class but was part of one of the many of the great families which spiraled into debt. After her family members die she inherits debt and so is forced to live with her relatives. Thankfully her cousin Toby has always been her cheerleader. Many of her friends still have money and keeping up appearances is crucial. Astra has suffered great sorrow and marriage is not her goal so she uses her intelligence and enterprising spirit to survive. Her candor and sarcasm is too much for some men...but not all. We watch her navigate life, learn about finances, step on some toes and deal with the likes of conniving Lady Millicent. The story is very engaging and easy to get lost in. I liked that it was not all roses but some thorns prickled, too. The historical details such as mannerisms, dialogue, clothing and food are lovely. My sincere thank you to Alcove Press and NetGalley for the privilege of reading the e-ARC of this enchanting book!

  29. 4 out of 5

    Robyn

    A Bright Young Thing follows Astra Davies, a young woman navigating early adulthood in the the early 1930s. She defies societal norms in that she is unmarried and enjoys her freedom. When her parents suddenly pass away, she is left with debts and an uncertain financial future. She will either need to marry rich or solve the problem on her own even though she doesn't have any marketable skills due to her gender role. Determined to make her way without a man, and working against a blackmailing soc A Bright Young Thing follows Astra Davies, a young woman navigating early adulthood in the the early 1930s. She defies societal norms in that she is unmarried and enjoys her freedom. When her parents suddenly pass away, she is left with debts and an uncertain financial future. She will either need to marry rich or solve the problem on her own even though she doesn't have any marketable skills due to her gender role. Determined to make her way without a man, and working against a blackmailing socialite and with a business partner who may just drive her further into debt, Astra's journey is anything but smooth. However, she is determined to show that she is more than "A Bright Young Thing". The most interesting part about reading time pieces like this one is comparing it to today's societal norms. While how Astra is treated by her peers can be frustrating to the reader, it is important to remember it was a different time in the 1930s. The mark of a good historical fiction book is it's ability to transport the reader back in time and Brianna Moore certainly achieved that! I also enjoyed that Astra was not defined by her romantic relationships which in any female led plot is a breath of fresh air. While she was a flawed protagonist, she was a relatable one for sure. I found myself rooting for her as the story progressed. Overall, I would recommend A Bright Young Thing to anyone who is looking for a light historical fiction novel. Thank you to NetGalley and Alcove Press for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Ana

    NetGalley ARC. Astra Davies’s parents die, leaving her without money and with some scandalous family secrets. She must find a way to make money in order to save her family home. But she must do this in secret because, according to her aunt, she can be cast out from society if people find out about her situation. In the end she learns that she’s unable to do things all by herself and in secret, so she shares her secrets with her girlfriends and the man she’s in love with, and they all help her out NetGalley ARC. Astra Davies’s parents die, leaving her without money and with some scandalous family secrets. She must find a way to make money in order to save her family home. But she must do this in secret because, according to her aunt, she can be cast out from society if people find out about her situation. In the end she learns that she’s unable to do things all by herself and in secret, so she shares her secrets with her girlfriends and the man she’s in love with, and they all help her out without judging or casting her out from their circle. At first glance, this reads like a Downton Abbey/Gossip Girl match-up, or a 1930’s version of Sex and the City. But then I looked up information on "bright young things" and came up with a very interesting article that helped me understand about the story’s setting a bit more. Article can be found here if you’re interested. But behind the veil of glamour and scandal, these “rebellious” women are trying to make a difference in the world around them. Astra is working on becoming a businesswoman. Joyce is hiring every servant she can that has been let go from other estates and trying to uncover her politician acquaintances’ secrets. Laura is working hard on becoming a fitness expert. And by doing so, these women are also helping change the mindset of the men in their lives.

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