Alethea Darcy, or Mrs. Napier as she is now known in the novel, is fleeing from a very brutal and unhealthy marriage. She travels through Europe disguised as a gentleman with her maid, Figgins, disguised as a man-servant. She encounters one Titus Manningtree who is both annoyingly charming and annoyingly angry with the world. He immediately recognizes Alethea for who she really is but does not give her away. Alethea solicits the help of her sister Georgina but is dismissed and told to go back to her husband as a good wife does. She decides to head to Venice to seek help from Camilla.
All along the way to Venice, Alethea and Figgins have some wonderful adventures that only men could have the pleasure of enjoying in 17th century Europe. Alethea tastes the freedom that being a man allows and falls in love with it.
My favorite quote from the book is when Lady Hermione is speaking with Alethea towards the end... "Life doesn't turn out as we expect it to. When we come out into the world, our futures seem as smooth and unmarred as virgin snow. It is an illusion, of course, and soon we weave a web of mistakes and failures as much as achievements and triumphs, and become used to walking on broken pavements rather than on paths of gold. It is what makes life so interesting; one quickly learns that one never knows what is going to happen next".
The book has a very happy and very interesting ending. One that I was not expecting...or at least not entirely. I had a feeling it would happen I just wasn't sure how the author was going to get us to that point. I was very happy with the book and would read it again in a heart beat!