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My Notorious Life

Average rating  
3.9
/
185 reviews
  • 280 people were amongst the first to read Kate Manning’s My Notorious Life by Madame X
  • They received a pack with 2 copies of the book, a personalised letter from the author and discount vouchers to hand out to friends.
:My Notorious Life
4
What a brilliant read. At half way through I couldn't put the book down. The tension that was built as Axie walks the fine line of helping people and being chased by the law was gripping. I started to feel the paranoia myself as the sharks were circling ever so much closer. Loved the twist, and my heart was in my throat as I held my breat to see how the story unfolded. Would definitely recommend as a great period drama read.
I particularly like ...
The general overall story. The angst of the main character, Axie, was riviting. Her day to day tension was palapable as she was ever dilligent to her family and craft. Her empathy as a character was well played out...you were really behind her every step of the way to see her suceed in her quest, not just with her family, but also in her practice.
It'll be nice to improve ...
Don't bother with censoring the taboo or expletives in the book. Axie was from the rough end of town with little education and she reflected that in her manners and day to day life. I know that at the time the book was set that there would have been certain words that would have been censored, but as Axie wasn't good at censoring herself, and telling it like it was, I don't see the point of censoring her account of her life. The only 1 part where censoring might have still applied is when she is recounting the text books she read, which I know would have been censorred, so those passages could have been reflected that way.
5
KathHobbs
26 Apr 2013 14:22
Member since 18/10/2012
5
This was a wonderful read. I found it extremely hard to put the book down and read it in 3 sittings. The characters were both likeable and honest. I could relate to all the characters without getting lost. I did not like the editing text as it was a real put off at times, but the story was so good I was able to look past it. This is a book I would recommend.
I particularly like ...
The reality of the story. It was something that all could relate to. The book was written in a wonderful style that kept me entertained and curious.
It'll be nice to improve ...
The period editing was something I really disliked. I understand that this was related to the time period the author was trying to create but we are reading the book in the now period and it was not a pleasant part of the book.
3
madcow
27 May 2013 10:55
Member since 14/04/2010
4
At first, I found it a little hard to wade through the language and the *** words in the book, but once I got used to it after the first couple of chapters, I really enjoyed this book. I love Axie as a character, she is the strong, fiery woman that you can believe helped to shape women's rights to what they are today. I know the book is fictional but it has been based on a true story, so there was a very strong woman behind the influence for the book. I enjoyed the historical content of the book. Real places, facts and names just helps to add a bit more depth and character to a book. I found myself researching Anthony Comstock and Madame Restell (Ann Trow), just as curiosity from the books details. The storyline just kept pulling me back in, I needed to know what would happen next. A hard life that ended in the best way I could have imagined, but to think the trials of this sort still continue to this day, not so much from the government but from general population itself, it really makes you wonder if we have progressed that much from the early 19th century as far as our beliefs of certain things go. I can say after reading this it has me reevaluating my beliefs. A fantastic book, can't wait to see what my friends think.
I particularly like ...
The history, the facts, the difficult storyline the characters found themselves on, and even after constant hardship, the overall triumph in the end.
It'll be nice to improve ...
The language or maybe the writing style was a little hard to grasp at first, but the more I read the easier it was to get. I did not like the words that had asterisks in them, when I was a little tired I had to think about what words were being said. I get why they were written that way, but it isn't so easy to read.
2
kelly,NSW
23 Apr 2013 14:44
Member since 08/02/2008
5
I think by the cover I would not have picked up M N L to read and that would have been my loss. I really enjoyed this book and maintained a quiet desperation, matching that of the protagonist, to see Axie''s life resolved. Kate Manning has an easy style of writing that I found to be comforting. I looked forward to settling down with this book of an evening. The author made Axie''s stumbling in to her life of notoriety seem casual and the reader is almost as surprised as she is at the turn her life has taken. The book is intelligent without being pretentious, it is easy to read, yet thought provoking. Axis is an extremely likeable protagonist, as a reader you are completely sympathetic to her plight. I found the insights into 19th Centuary attitudes to sex, it''s outcomes and midwifery fascinating, though the book''s ''historical'' element is secondary in the reader''s mind to the simple following of Axie''s journey to notoriety. More than once the cover and title led people to believe I was reading something lewd in content. However, the cover quite befits the book, creating the sense of scandal Madame caused by the end of her career. I really enjoyed this book. It was easy to read, yet not light on content. The story of Axie''s life kept me gripped till the end. I would highly recommend this well written fascinating novel.
I particularly like ...
It was an historically based novel that made you forget that was what you were reading. Kate Manning''s story is gripping and so well written that you identify with Axie on a personal level. You are aware of the setting of the story but it takes second place to the emotional journey of the characters.
It'll be nice to improve ...
Please get rid of the ******s it was the only thing that jarred with me and halted my reading. At first I thought it was extreme American censoring, until informed it was meant for historical accuracy.
2
sarah.sarahsmith
05 Jun 2013 23:19
Member since 18/10/2012
4.5
My Notorious Life had me hooked in from page 1 and I just couldn't put it down, I was so anxious to keep reading to find out what happens next. It was at times tear provoking, heart warming, cringe worthy and uplifting. I felt dismay at the injustices faced by Axie and proud of her achievements and determination. I highly recommend it, one of the best books of fiction I have read.
I particularly like ...
That it was based on a true story. It was written in a way that made it easy to connect with the main character and feel what she was feeling. It was suspenseful, in that I wanted to keep reading in my haste to find out what happens next.
It'll be nice to improve ...
The censorship was quite frustrating, particularly where the word was not an expletive. At times, it took me way too long to figure out what the word was, which meant I lost the continuity and my train of thought and felt like I had to get back in to the story again.
1
bree83
27 Apr 2013 20:21
Member since 11/02/2012
4
Enjoyable read, I look foreard to more books by this author
I particularly like ...
Great story, the "I cant put it down" kind of book. I was constantly looking forward to getting time to sit down and read some more.
It'll be nice to improve ...
Didnt like the censorship of words. I understand it was in keepin with the times, but I still didnt like it.
1
Reewel
24 May 2013 14:15
Member since 18/05/2011
5
I had no expectations, in fact I had assumed it was about something else. My Notorious Life is well-written, and it is especially engrossing when you realised it's based on a true story. I thought the fact that it was written in the original first-person vernacular the way it was made it very authentic. The primary character Axie is well-developed later on ... although i thought her first-person accounts in her younger years were a little less believable - she seemed way too adult in her perceptions when she was first introduced. I think the subject matter makes it especialy appealing to the female audience and it will be a hit with book clubs. I haven't read a book in a long time that I've enjoyed so much.
I particularly like ...
It gave me a reason to go to bed and start reading, but then I couldn't put it down to go to sleep. I haven't enjoyed reading a book so much in a while.
It'll be nice to improve ...
I loved the main character Axie, especially later in the story, although I felt her first person account, language and perceptions weren't so well developed in the first couple of chapters, i didn't find her completely believable as a nine-year old
1
Sarahheg1
05 Jun 2013 16:05
Member since 03/09/2012
4.5
I loved this book. I was a little unsure of it at the start as the blurb didn't sound that great, but from the first page I was hooked! There was so much to keep me turning my page. The book wrote the different characters so well and I really felt like I was back in that time, with those people, who I loved a lot!
I particularly like ...
It wasn't too difficult or confusing with names and titles and places. It had a lot of intrigue and always had me on the edge of my seat. It was fast paced, but didn't skip over anything. I really really enjoyed it! The characters were really well written and I felt like I knew them all. I also never knew what was going to happen!
It'll be nice to improve ...
The blurb. It sounds a bit contrived, and really doesn't do the book justice.
0
sophieo
24 Jun 2013 12:09
Member since 20/06/2011
4
No
I particularly like ...
I couldn't put it down and found it very informative
It'll be nice to improve ...
Found it a lil hard to get my head around the language at the beginning
0
nelle77
13 Jun 2013 18:13
Member since 02/12/2010
4
Thought it interesting & compelling. Couldn''t put it down once I started reading it.
I particularly like ...
It was matter of fact. Enjoyable to read. And gave lots for discussion at our get together.
It'll be nice to improve ...
No improvement needed. It covers diversity. You can''t have happy endings for all the characters.
0
Michelde,Auckland
11 Jun 2013 21:17
Member since 24/03/2011
3.5
An engaging read, written quite differently to your normal novel which keeps you hooked and makes for an interesting read.
I particularly like ...
The topic covered and the character, both of which made for a good read.
It'll be nice to improve ...
the blanked out words, I felt they detracted from the story although I understand why the author took this approach, I feel she should have used the correct word or substituted for other words. I also found the way it was written was very different to normal novels and at times harder to read.
0
megs_cain
11 Jun 2013 12:38
Member since 15/06/2011
4.5
I really enjoyed this books
I particularly like ...
Liked that the author has tried to be authentic to the time period in the use of the language as it helps to set the scene for the story
It'll be nice to improve ...
I would have liked to see speech marks as it was sometimes hard to follow who was talking
0
Traceyanne
11 Jun 2013 06:12
Member since 03/09/2009
2.5
The book I think has a limited audience to older women and would not suit a broad age group. At times I found it very slow and if it had been a book I had picked up at the library and not a soup project I don't think I would have finished reading it.
I particularly like ...
It taught me what life was like during that era and how our live are so different, The poorer society definitely had it very rough and we are spoilt by the technology and modern developments.
It'll be nice to improve ...
In parts it did not seem to flow and I found myself skipping through some paragraphs as I found it did not grip you enough and dragged along. I found the constant **** frustrating trying in places to guess the words and thought this was possibly just because it was not a final copy but then realised it would go into the final book, I can understand what the writer is trying to do as you would not publish these words during that era but I think it is not a shock to readers to see such words in todays books and this distracted the flow of the book,.
0
Spike8
10 Jun 2013 13:34
Member since 30/04/2010
4
Some, what I presume very factual period information. Easy to follow, beginning a bit misleading, I thought I was reading a true account until the end of the book. Ending too convenient, but still a good read.
I particularly like ...
the short chapters so I could pick up and put down easily
It'll be nice to improve ...
the ending could have been a bit less cut and dry thereby lending itself to another book
0
vanessawhite
09 Jun 2013 17:43
Member since 09/07/2011
2
Interesting topic which is quite thought provoking. Writing style however needed some getting used to and there were significant amount of background information which didn't necessarily seem necessary or set a different expectation from the story line. Book started out well which surprised me however the second half of the book was disappointing and I felt it read very like a soap opera as opposed to connecting with Axie. Overall not really a book that I'd generally be interested or attracted to and whilst wasn't entirely not enjoyable, the book was unfortunately not one that I truly liked.
I particularly like ...
the topic which was interesting, somewhat current as well as through provoking.
It'll be nice to improve ...
the writing style as well as the book cover which certainly does not sell it.
0
mojojojo
09 Jun 2013 15:08
Member since 22/09/2012
1
I found this book hard to get into. It was interesting at points. I was actually pregnant when I read the book. I think I didn't like the diary style, it didn't grab me.
I particularly like ...
The relationship between Charlie and Axie then later Annabelle.
It'll be nice to improve ...
The flow of the book. I found it hard to get into
0
georgiabennett
09 Jun 2013 09:27
Member since 26/10/2009
3
The story was predictable but the author managed to take me on the journey with Axie on her way to become a successful physician. It is a good read and I guess the disconnect is between the title of the book and the use of the word scandalous which I think does not match the story of the woman's struggle to help others where they need the most. On a minor note, there are a few spelling mistakes(maybe intentional) that detracted from the momentum of reading.
I particularly like ...
The main character Axie Muldoon: charismatic and passionate. The book described her well and can be well related by the readers.
It'll be nice to improve ...
How the dialogs are presented, some description of the character along with the dialog would help to set the scene more.
0
Angel.chen
08 Jun 2013 15:40
Member since 27/07/2009
2
This book wasn't really my thing. The story was really interesting, and I really liked the overall concept, but I found that the language was a bit boring. I did appreciate the attempt to mimic 19th century grammar and vocabulary, but I didn't feel like the language was quite complex enough to hold my attention.
I particularly like ...
The concept, the attempt to deploy nineteenth century grammar.
It'll be nice to improve ...
The language felt a bit novice-like, particularly when it tried to be sensational, which for me, tended to result in awkwardness. It felt like the author's first novel.
0
Jacinta Kelly
08 Jun 2013 09:38
Member since 23/07/2009
4.5
Page-turning story of a young girl who lost a lot and made a great wonderful life for her and her family and friends.
I particularly like ...
its was a great story of someone who helped many people in hard times life in hard times and good times. I loved the all the wonderful characters in the story .
It'll be nice to improve ...
nothing I love the book
0
keli16
06 Jun 2013 22:06
Member since 26/10/2009
4
If you're into period style drama mixed with a new writing style, then this is the book for you. We're taken back through time to the late 1800s in New York City and follow the life of Axie Muldoon from a young age as she grows into a force to be reckoned with. It's a remarkable journey from penniless beggar on the harsh city streets, to pioneering woman's rights and medical advocate - although that's never how the straight-talking, non-nonsense Axie would describe herself. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. After finding the style initially a little hard to get used to. Would recommend it to anyone who enjoyed historical fiction.
I particularly like ...
The character development was excellent, you really felt for Axie and those she cared about. It also gave a real flavour for what New York must have been like in the late 1800s, something I always find enjoyable learning about.
It'll be nice to improve ...
Didn't get along with the **** throughout. I don't think it's needed. You could either tone down the language to an acceptable level, or I believe most readers would appreciate it's a valid part of the story and character development. You're unlikely to get 'underage' people reading it, so having bad language in their shouldn't be an issue. I also found the book a little long overall, but still read it pretty quickly so it's not really a criticism!
0
Joanne,Auckland
05 Jun 2013 17:55
Member since 05/10/2011