Quicunque-Vult-by-Keira-Michelle-TelfordQuicunque Vult by Keira Michelle Telford is very loosely based on the life of Mary Jane, the whore who was torn apart by Jack The Ripper.

The book starts with Mary Jane meeting Eva, a beautiful 16 year old. Quickly the two become friends and lovers with Mary Jane showing Eva the pleasures of Sapphic Love.

The events around Jack The Ripper are a background to the love story between Mary Jane and Eva. Mary Jane is desperate to escape her life as a whore and to have a stable life with Eva. She saves everything she can in hopes of buying her way into a respectable life with her beloved.

The Characters

The characters are reminiscent of the characters in The Magistrate. The older woman tries desperately to make a life for the younger woman who can be rather petulant.

The character of Mary Jane is fairly well thought out. She has flaws, like and dislikes and will put up with anything in order to give Eva a better life.

I found Eva a little more flat as a character, she showed no real growth or change and other than being the object of Mary Jane’s affections. Eva was a peripheral character in Mary Jane’s life as a result.

The Writing Style

Keira Michelle Telford writes beautifully. The book excerpt, below, showcases some of her talent.

Her timing is good and the pace of the story kept up for the most part. This is a big book and there was only once when I found myself impatient to move on to the next piece of information.

The Pros

The book does not have a sad ending, despite the main character’s connection to Jack The Ripper.

The Cons

There is an enormous amount of heterosexual sex. This I could almost live with, considering her profession, but there are also graphic descriptions of incest that I could have done without.

The Conclusion

It’s a decent book. It’s not my favourite of Telford’s but it is a good read.

I enjoyed the read and the historical detail was well done. Telford has an interesting take on who the Ripper actually was. Mary Jane was an entertaining character and I was cheering her on.

At over 700 pages (the paperback is 724 pages long), this is a monster book with a load of research and effort put in, giving you a real sense of what it was like to live in Victorian England.

So yes, it is worth a read. Skip the excessive sex scenes if you don’t like it, because it won’t make a difference to the story.

Excerpt from Quicunque Vult by Keira Michelle Telford

On account of her relative youth, fresh complexion, and abundant personal attractions, she never has to go far to find a man willing to part with his hard-earned coin. She’s a sought after commodity, and moreover, since she’s known for catering to certain peculiar letches of men – primarily, employing, the use of her mouth or breasts for the purpose of sperm-drawing – her liberal carnal talents have earned her a reputation as being a harlot of the finest degree. Not that there’s tremendous competition.

By and large, the women of vice in this area are past their prime, having turned to the work on account of suffering the loss of a husband or two and being no longer able to care for their children. Their faces are already worn by poverty, a number of them stricken with disease. In most cases, they tumbled down the social ladder in fits and starts, winding up in the East End slums when the last rung finally rotted out from underneath them.

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Bits and Bobs

  • ISBN number: 9780992011581
  • Publisher: Venatic Press

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