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Extended Audio Sample The Fair Fight, by Anna Freeman Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Anna Freeman Narrator: Fiona Hardingham, Justine Eyre, Steve West Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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The Crimson Petal and the White meets Fight Club in this page-turning novel set in the world of female pugilists and their patrons in late-eighteenth-century England.

Moving from a filthy brothel to a fine manor house, from the world of street fighters to the world of champions, The Fair Fight is a vivid, propulsive historical novel announcing the arrival of a dynamic new talent.

Born in a brothel, Ruth doesn’t expect much for herself beyond abuse. While her sister’s beauty affords a certain degree of comfort, Ruth’s harsh looks set her on a path of drudgery. That is until she meets pugilist patron Granville Dryer and discovers her true calling—fighting bare knuckles in the prize rings of Bristol.

Manor-born Charlotte has a different cross to bear. Scarred by smallpox, stifled by her social and romantic options, and trapped in twisted power games with her wastrel brother, she is desperate for an escape.

After a disastrous, life-changing fight sidelines Ruth, the two women meet, and it alters the perspectives of both of them. When Charlotte presents Ruth with an extraordinary proposition, Ruth pushes dainty Charlotte to enter the ring herself and learn the power of her own strength.

A gripping, page-turning story about people struggling to transcend the circumstances into which they were born and fighting for their own places in society, The Fair Fight is a raucous, intoxicating tale of courage, reinvention, and fighting one’s way to the top.

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Quotes & Awards

  • A hugely exciting and entertaining novel, written with warmth, charm, authority, and, above all, terrific flair.”

    Sarah Waters, New York Times bestselling author

  • “The women keep us reading, yet Freeman is too good a storyteller to reduce The Fair Fight to a feminist tract. Rather, the whole enterprise lodges in the tradition of the picaresque, where the excitement lies less in plot than in lively incident…and suspense is sustained less through cliffhanger action than through following the characters as they roll with life’s—and, in this case, other people’s—punches…[Freeman’s] novel, though written in a fashion long past, feels quite natural and free. She has taken the late eighteenth century, language and all, and pummeled life into it. The Fair Fight breathes, shouts, and swears, confident in its form and bold as brass in its execution.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “Freeman’s familiarity with this rough and raunchy period of history and her wonderfully imagined cast of characters, often down but never out, makes this a brilliant debut novel.”

    Times (London)

  • “[A] cracking debut…A lively, rambunctious read.”

    Sunday Express (London)

  • “Freeman’s outstanding debut, The Fair Fight, is a richly detailed Austen-era novel depicting the lives of two women boxers—one of low birth, one privileged—and the fights they face, both in the ring and outside of it. It is a nuanced portrayal of class and gender equality that will keep readers eagerly turning the pages.This debut, a ripping fine yarn, will have particular appeal to fans of recent Austen-era hits…Thoroughly entertaining and highly recommended.”

    Library Journal (starred review)

  • “Freeman does a wonderful job of spinning this furious yarn, in which the fury of women plays the lead role. Great characters and wild turns of events make this book a knockout.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • “Freeman’s well-researched portrait of this raucous and unfamiliar world is a tour de force.”

    BookPage

  • “In this period novel…Freeman cleverly uses Ruth and Charlotte to show how nineteenth-century women, no matter their circumstances, had few choices in their lives. Her evocation of the seedier aspects of Georgian England is persuasive, even for readers who don’t know a cove from a cull.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “A story of female pugilists, bloodshed, brutal poverty, and monied ruthlessness in 1790s Bristol. Steve West portrays the upper-class men…Fiona Hardingham uses a broad accent to portray Ruth…Justine Eyre portrays Charlotte’s parts…Hardingham, Eyre, and West join forces to enthrall, repel, and horrify listeners.”

    AudioFile

  • “In sensuous, evocative prose, The Fair Fight wholly captures the spirit of eighteenth century Bristol’s female pugilists and their patrons. An absorbing, bawdy tale of passion, class conflict, and surprising friendship, it’s a fabulous piece of writing.”

    Cathy Marie Buchanan, author of The Painted Girls

  • A BookPage Top Pick in Historical Fiction for April 2015
  • A New York Times Editor’s Choice
  • A Kirkus Reviews Pick of Novels to Lose Yourself In
  • A Library Journal Best Book of 2015 in Historical Ficiton
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