"You are very pretty. You've no need to worry about diagrams and equations. If you want my advice, take up a pastime a husband would approve of."
Vivian Kirby longs to be taken seriously as an inventor and aims to enter her Personal Propulsion Vehicle in the International Exhibition of Industry and Science. In order to do so she requires two sponsors: one academic and the other titled. Unfortunately, none of the gentlemen she has approached are willing to sponsor her. One afternoon an unexpected visitor appears and offers her both sponsorships with a catch, the titled sponsor wishes to remain anonymous. Through letters, Vivian corresponds with her secret benefactor to keep him up-to-date on her invention. Soon a warm friendship begins to grow and Vivian finds herself possibly falling in love with the mysterious man.
thoughts & feelings
If it's possible, I love the Blue Orchids even more after reading the second book. Inventing Vivian was just as amazing as Solving Sophronia and I am so excited to start Healing Hazel soon!
Wanna know one of the best parts? My wish came true! Inventing Vivian also begins with a prologue showing the formation of the Blue Orchid Society! I LOVED getting to see the ball and creation of the Blue Orchids from her point of view. I will simply say that Vivian is hilarious and will have you giggling from the beginning.
Once again Jennifer Moore did an amazing job creating a brilliant and strong female character, without it bringing out the "I don't need a man" vibes. I feel like oft times women are portrayed as being completely helpless or completely against men. Both Vivian and Sophronia are written in a very balanced and true way. I'm guessing the other three Blue Orchids will be as well. Vivian is brilliant, not an exaggeration, and can definitely hold her own in the scientific world. She has hopes and dreams but is not above recognizing that she needs help, and asking for it. I loved seeing Vivian's humility shine throughout this story and how it balanced with her confidence.
I also have to mention Vivian's family. I love her family so much. Even though we don't get to see them a lot I feel like I know them well. Vivian's father has been a huge support for her throughout her life. Rather than push for Vivian to become a "refined young lady" he encourages her to increase her knowledge and skills in the sciences. When he hears of her receiving the necessary sponsorships for the International Exhibition he is genuinely excited for her. I loved all the little glimpses of Vivian's relationship to her father. It helped me understand Vivian's drive and personality a little better. It also provided a stark contrast to the relationship that Lord Benedict has with his father.
Speaking of Lord Benedict, I also really enjoyed how his character was written. A second son that is suddenly heir to a title. I love that we get to see Benedict come to terms with his new position and all that it entails. We see him struggle with balancing the desire to please his father, keeping with tradition, having to learn everything about the estate, and his deep rooted desire to do what is right. My favorite part about Benedict might be how he goes about doing what is right. When he sees something unjust he does what he can, within his scope, to make it right. From purchasing a few griddle cakes to improving working conditions in a family factory he is realistic about what he can change and how he can make a difference.
I could talk about this book for days, I loved it that much, but I'll stop. Just know that I have absolutely LOVED this series so far and am so sad that there is only one more book currently published. Hopefully we don't have to wait too long for the two stories. Fingers crossed!
Steam Level: clean, kissing
Content Warnings: descriptions of poverty and poor working conditions
Trigger Warnings: none
Title: Inventing Vivian
Series: The Blue Orchid Society #2
Author: Jennifer Moore
The Blue Orchid Society Series