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The Girl with the Golden Scissors: A Novel

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From the bestselling author of The Lioness of Morocco and The Elephant Keepers Daughter, the story of an ambitious young woman discovering friendship, love, and her own identity on the eve of World War I. Christmas 1889. A baby is born in the early hours at Vienna General Hospital, only to be abandoned by her unwed mother and entrusted to a foundling home and its loving From the bestselling author of The Lioness of Morocco and The Elephant Keeper’s Daughter, the story of an ambitious young woman discovering friendship, love, and her own identity on the eve of World War I. Christmas 1889. A baby is born in the early hours at Vienna General Hospital, only to be abandoned by her unwed mother and entrusted to a foundling home and its loving caretaker. Fanny Schindler grows from a precocious girl into a strong-willed young woman. Undeterred by the rules of her station, she’s determined to rise above her humble origins and pursue her dreams at all costs, becoming an apprentice to one of the most glamorous fashion houses in Austria-Hungary. All the while, as Fanny searches for a sense of belonging, her path crosses with those of three people who will change her future. To one, she is a cherished friend. To another, a confidant. And to a handsome career soldier, something more. When hostilities in Europe burst into flame as a brutal world war, the future of the dual monarchy is at stake, friendships are strained, loyalties are tested, and everything is at risk. And when long-buried secrets about Fanny’s past come to light, she must decide what truly matters—and what is worth fighting for in a new world of infinite possibilities.


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From the bestselling author of The Lioness of Morocco and The Elephant Keepers Daughter, the story of an ambitious young woman discovering friendship, love, and her own identity on the eve of World War I. Christmas 1889. A baby is born in the early hours at Vienna General Hospital, only to be abandoned by her unwed mother and entrusted to a foundling home and its loving From the bestselling author of The Lioness of Morocco and The Elephant Keeper’s Daughter, the story of an ambitious young woman discovering friendship, love, and her own identity on the eve of World War I. Christmas 1889. A baby is born in the early hours at Vienna General Hospital, only to be abandoned by her unwed mother and entrusted to a foundling home and its loving caretaker. Fanny Schindler grows from a precocious girl into a strong-willed young woman. Undeterred by the rules of her station, she’s determined to rise above her humble origins and pursue her dreams at all costs, becoming an apprentice to one of the most glamorous fashion houses in Austria-Hungary. All the while, as Fanny searches for a sense of belonging, her path crosses with those of three people who will change her future. To one, she is a cherished friend. To another, a confidant. And to a handsome career soldier, something more. When hostilities in Europe burst into flame as a brutal world war, the future of the dual monarchy is at stake, friendships are strained, loyalties are tested, and everything is at risk. And when long-buried secrets about Fanny’s past come to light, she must decide what truly matters—and what is worth fighting for in a new world of infinite possibilities.

30 review for The Girl with the Golden Scissors: A Novel

  1. 4 out of 5

    Mackey

    I absolutely love historical fiction especially when it is written as eloquently as The Girl With the Golden Scissors. Franny was born in 1889 in Vienna only to be abandoned by her unwed mother. She is cared for, lovingly, at a foundling home where she grows into a precocious child and a talented young woman. Ultimately, she finds herself as an apprentice in one of the most prestigious fashion houses in Austria-Hungary. Isn't it interesting how many of these young women end up in fashion houses? I absolutely love historical fiction especially when it is written as eloquently as The Girl With the Golden Scissors. Franny was born in 1889 in Vienna only to be abandoned by her unwed mother. She is cared for, lovingly, at a foundling home where she grows into a precocious child and a talented young woman. Ultimately, she finds herself as an apprentice in one of the most prestigious fashion houses in Austria-Hungary. Isn't it interesting how many of these young women end up in fashion houses? I can't sew on a button so I'm always amazed at this. Just as her life appears to be stable, war breaks out across Europe testing the loyalties of her friendships, people she trusted and, worse, the monarchy itself. It does, however, afford her the opportunity to search for the truth about her parentage. The Girl With the Golden Scissors is a beautifully written saga that sweeps across Europe during a time that few people alive today fully understand. Which country was loyal to whom, families stretched across the globe, divided by their current nationalities. It is within this scene-scape that we discover the truth about Franny and how that truth will alter her life forever. Wonderfully written by the duo known as Julia Drosten and perfectly translated from German to English, this is an historical novel from a very different perspective and one that will leave you breathless and wanting more. I'm not sure how I've missed this writing duo before now but I definitely am a fan now.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Ann-Marie

    This book is getting quite a bit of promotion on Amazon right now. I was lucky enough to have gotten an ARC, or I might have skipped it. That would have been a shame. "The Girl With the Golden Scissors" is an historical fiction novel which takes place in Vienna and Hungary in the periods just before and during The First World War. It concerns a young woman, born in an orphanage to an anonymous well bred unwed mother, who is lucky enough to be raised by a loving foster mother. She grows into a This book is getting quite a bit of promotion on Amazon right now. I was lucky enough to have gotten an ARC, or I might have skipped it. That would have been a shame. "The Girl With the Golden Scissors" is an historical fiction novel which takes place in Vienna and Hungary in the periods just before and during The First World War. It concerns a young woman, born in an orphanage to an anonymous well bred unwed mother, who is lucky enough to be raised by a loving foster mother. She grows into a strong, determined woman who controls her own destiny and influences the lives of many others. A book that is a pleasure to read. I, of course received my copy free in exchange for an honest review.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Dionne Abouelela

    I truly loved this book. I found the characters rich and wound together in beautiful ways. I wanted to root for Fanny, and most importantly for me as a reader, I couldn't wait to see where her life took her. While I'm still processing the book, I will put a full review on my blog (dionneabouelela.com) shortly. At this time, kudos to the author and thank you for a beautiful story full of rich textiles, rich emotions, and unexpected developments.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Dana Al-Basha دانة الباشا

    How have I never heard of this author before!? I love that I still discover new authors! Her titles and covers are amazing!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Avigail

    Thank you, Netgalley.com, for giving me a chance to read a free copy of The Girl With the Golden Scissors in exchange for a fair review. Historical fiction is a genre I like to read during the winter months. The Girl With the Golden Scissors is the story of an illegitimate child of the Austro-Hungarian empire, became an independent woman, and an essential person in the fashion industry before and during WWI. It is the first time that I am reading a book that the perspective is from the losing Thank you, Netgalley.com, for giving me a chance to read a free copy of The Girl With the Golden Scissors in exchange for a fair review. Historical fiction is a genre I like to read during the winter months. The Girl With the Golden Scissors is the story of an illegitimate child of the Austro-Hungarian empire, became an independent woman, and an essential person in the fashion industry before and during WWI. It is the first time that I am reading a book that the perspective is from the losing party of the war. It has a book that has an LGBTQ+ character, and through this character, you can learn the customs of acceptance or not acceptance of them. Also, you see that those years the thought of treating beeing homo-sexual with psychoanalysis. Fanny is a strong character; she is fierce, and during her life, has to overcome a lot of struggles. Fanny knows what her social-economic status is, but at the same time, she is a true friend and knows to hold back even if it means to live with heartbreak. The husband and wife, writing as Julia Drosten and the translator Deborah Rachel Langton had me devouring me the book. I could feel the cold entering into my bones while reading the passage where Max, the main character, posted in the military position close to the Russian border, before his commander, the remaining soldiers' surrender. I had a little trouble with the pacing at the beginning, but about 10% of the book, I got used to it and enjoyed it. Yes, this book a translation, and as I am familiar with translated works, it is a good translation. What is a sure thing is I will be on the lookout for the other books that have been written by Julia Drosten. #TheGirlwiththeGoldenScissors #NetGalley

  6. 5 out of 5

    Phronsie

    I read that this was sort of a historical romance and at first I was like, Meh. Romance isnt my thing. Then I actually read it and went, This is more like historical fiction with a little bit of romance thrown in! Time period: just before and during WWI Setting: Europe, specifically Austria-Hungary Oh, the things money can buy. Like anonymity during childbirth. The main character was born during Christmas to parents who wished to remain anonymous. Through a series of unfortunate events, she grows I read that this was sort of a historical romance and at first I was like, “Meh. Romance isn’t my thing.” Then I actually read it and went, “This is more like historical fiction with a little bit of romance thrown in!” Time period: just before and during WWI Setting: Europe, specifically Austria-Hungary Oh, the things money can buy. Like anonymity during childbirth. The main character was born during Christmas to parents who wished to remain anonymous. Through a series of unfortunate events, she grows up in the foundling home wishing she knew who her parents were. Fast forward to her early adulthood. She struggles to find her niche (who doesn’t?), and meets a number of interesting people. These people become her family despite one slightly frustrating obstacle. When she finally figures out what to do with her life war breaks out and turns life upside down. It does, however, give her connections to find out who her parents are. Plot twist for sure! Overall, I enjoyed the book. The Girl with the Golden Scissors was originally written in German by the author team that goes by the name Julia Drosten. The translation itself was stellar. I know in translating it’s sometimes hard to maintain the feel of the text. Took me a few days to get through simply because I couldn’t read more than a few chapters at a time. It’s not hard to read at all. It’s just a lot of story building and sometimes that can be a little bland. I would for sure read it again, so that’s a positive!

  7. 4 out of 5

    MJ

    3.5 stars

  8. 5 out of 5

    Kristina Ellis

    I couldnt put this book down! This would make a great movie. I couldn’t put this book down! This would make a great movie.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie Kuehn

    I won a copy of this book through the giveaways page! I never read the synopsis of books nor reviews before reading. I literally decide whether to read/not read based on title, cover, or recommendations by a person. Ive always loved historical fiction, even though this book some liberties (these were all outlined at the end of the book, which I loved), it was very representative of that time period. The book is wonderfully written & I felt like I really knew the characters. Throughout the I won a copy of this book through the giveaways page! I never read the synopsis of books nor reviews before reading. I literally decide whether to read/not read based on title, cover, or recommendations by a person. I’ve always loved historical fiction, even though this book some liberties (these were all outlined at the end of the book, which I loved), it was very representative of that time period. The book is wonderfully written & I felt like I really knew the characters. Throughout the book I found myself not only rooting for Fanny, but for Helene & Izabella to forge their own paths. The only part that really disappointed me was the ending. It felt like the book just ended. I expected something a bit more, not even realizing the book ended until seeing the next page was the Acknowledgments.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Missy

    Set in Vienna in 1889. Fanny born in a hospital and given up and raised in what what was called foundling home for orphans. So many were mistreated and abused in foster care, that Josepha who had been working there for years, kept Fanny in the home and raised her. Fanny grew to be an independent woman who loved to sew! "D'you know, I've been thinking about the first time we ever came here, and now this whole place is yours! I'm so proud of you. Not just for that but because of the way you didn't Set in Vienna in 1889. Fanny born in a hospital and given up and raised in what what was called foundling home for orphans. So many were mistreated and abused in foster care, that Josepha who had been working there for years, kept Fanny in the home and raised her. Fanny grew to be an independent woman who loved to sew! "D'you know, I've been thinking about the first time we ever came here, and now this whole place is yours! I'm so proud of you. Not just for that but because of the way you didn't always listen to me! You followed your own stubborn path." This was a wonderful, well-written novel! I absolutely loved it. Thank you NetGalley and publisher for the eARC

  11. 5 out of 5

    Lyndi

    Born into a foundling home for orphans of unwed mothers, Fanny Schindler spends her whole life proving herself to the loving woman, Josepha, who took her in. First by obtaining good grades in school and longing to continue her education, she works as a lady's maid for several rich young women. After several failed attempts in prominent houses, she decides to follow her dream of becoming a seamstress and buys herself an apprenticeship to one of the most prestigious clothing shops in Born into a foundling home for orphans of unwed mothers, Fanny Schindler spends her whole life proving herself to the loving woman, Josepha, who took her in. First by obtaining good grades in school and longing to continue her education, she works as a lady's maid for several rich young women. After several failed attempts in prominent houses, she decides to follow her dream of becoming a seamstress and buys herself an apprenticeship to one of the most prestigious clothing shops in Austria-Hungary. I like how Fanny is such a strong female character learning to take care of herself through several failures and finally finding her calling in fashion. I love how she was able to eventually able to buy the clothing store she started in. Great historical fiction before and during WWI. I received a complimentary copy of this book through Netgalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own. Thank you for the opportunity to read and review this book!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Tina KC

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Generally I like historical fiction but there were phrases and descriptions that seemed to be too modern for the era in the story and that really distracted me, overall those little things made this book less enjoyable. I liked the main character and her love interest but it was all wrapped up a little too quickly and tidy, a nice lead up to an ending that was over way too quickly. Throughout the story you know about the mystery of her mother and then that too is over and done very quickly.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Lori

    Quite good I actually did like this book although historical fiction is not my usual genre. I was looking for an audiobook on Kindle unlimited to listen to while driving to and from work and thought Id give this one a try. It had a great storyline and characters were fairly well developed it seem to drag in some places but overall a pretty good read. Quite good I actually did like this book although historical fiction is not my usual genre. I was looking for an audiobook on Kindle unlimited to listen to while driving to and from work and thought I’d give this one a try. It had a great storyline and characters were fairly well developed it seem to drag in some places but overall a pretty good read.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Lacey

    This was a good story and introduced a historical viewpoint I hadn't seen before so that was fascinating. I do wish the main character hadn't spend the first half of the book pursuing careers that she had no interest in. The ending with the big reveal of her lineage was a huge miss for me. I think it would have been better for her to never find out and realize what a wonderful guardian she had without needing to make the comparison to an actual birth mother. Overall an engaging story. I won the This was a good story and introduced a historical viewpoint I hadn't seen before so that was fascinating. I do wish the main character hadn't spend the first half of the book pursuing careers that she had no interest in. The ending with the big reveal of her lineage was a huge miss for me. I think it would have been better for her to never find out and realize what a wonderful guardian she had without needing to make the comparison to an actual birth mother. Overall an engaging story. I won the Kindle Edition of "The Girl with the Golden Scissors" from Goodreads.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Julie

    Loved this story of a strong girl who knew her mind and triumphed over all.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Annette Collins

    War at it's worst Wonderful story. Completely believable. Really nice to read a novel about another country and still be able to get involved in it

  17. 5 out of 5

    cindy massey

    Great historical read. This was a great read. Ended abruptly. I love these authors and cant wait until there are some more books. Great historical read. This was a great read. Ended abruptly. I love these authors and can’t wait until there are some more books.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    Enjoyed reading about the women behind the scenes. Fanny had quite a life

  19. 5 out of 5

    Kristen Jean

    Great book wirh excellent story. Couldnt put it down. Great book wirh excellent story. Couldn’t put it down.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Patricia Davies

    Good read This book was very enjoyable to read. Will be excellent for those long journeys. I can honestly say I throughly enjoyed it.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Denai Piscopo

    What a great read. An interesting historical fiction novel and an area of the world/war that I had no knowledge of. To be a child born into a Foundling Home and then to have many attempts to find parents never come to fruition must have been frustrating. I love the character of Fanny Schindler. She is full of sass, but respect, friendship and love in all the right areas. What she goes through from such a young age, birth really and then to come out as the woman that she becomes is a testament to What a great read. An interesting historical fiction novel and an area of the world/war that I had no knowledge of. To be a child born into a Foundling Home and then to have many attempts to find parents never come to fruition must have been frustrating. I love the character of Fanny Schindler. She is full of sass, but respect, friendship and love in all the right areas. What she goes through from such a young age, birth really and then to come out as the woman that she becomes is a testament to her character and upbringing by her guardian. A fantastic read and I would recommend it to anyone.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Jan Carpenter

    Good; not great! This is a good book. I stop there with a simple phrase because it is just that, i.e., good. This is not a" must read" but it certainly does keep your interest and desire to read on. I think the ending is quite predictable and even knowing that, you will be anxious to read on. I enjoyed the diversity and phrases in German and French. These phrases were used superbly, even if you do not speak those languages. It's a good book; not great.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Lanie Randl

    Wonderful book!! Once I started reading it I couldn't put it down! The twist of Fanny being the Baroness's illegitimate daughter was a definite twist at the end. I would have liked to see both Fanny and Max being able to get married at the end though.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Cindy Woods

    Not very good. This story of a Viennese girl born in a foundling home at the turn of the 20th century is very dry and shallow. The main character, Fanny, is shallow and unlikeable. She is raised by an administrator of the foundling home and as she becomes old enough to go out into the world on her own she causes her own problems many times over. The story is tedious and the plot is all over the map as Fanny works in various homes as a personal maid to wealthy girls. None of the characters have any Not very good. This story of a Viennese girl born in a foundling home at the turn of the 20th century is very dry and shallow. The main character, Fanny, is shallow and unlikeable. She is raised by an administrator of the foundling home and as she becomes old enough to go out into the world on her own she causes her own problems many times over. The story is tedious and the plot is all over the map as Fanny works in various homes as a personal maid to wealthy girls. None of the characters have any true depth. The rambling plot was almost boring. The romance was boring. The only thing I found halfway of interest was the last quarter of the book where WWI is raging and descriptions of military and civilian life are laid out. This is one I wished I'd passed on. Waste of reading time for me.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Cathie Manley-mckenzie

    Interesting Story, fairly enjoyable but predictable in a couple events. Obvious ending, or I'm a good guesser. Follows a Foundling thru her life , loves and losses, thrills and triumphs.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Pauline Easley

    I won this book through goodreads. The story was easy enough to follow along and had some beautiful moments. Overall it was an okay story but not spectacular.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Ute Loeffler

    The Girl with the Golden Scissors I enjoy novels that use history as background. Being German, made this story especially interesting. Plan to look for more books by this author.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Bachrudin

  29. 5 out of 5

    JOAN DOROTHY SMITH

  30. 5 out of 5

    Frank

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