Why I DNFed The Disgrace of Kitty Grey

June 20, 2017 Review 10 DNF

Why I DNFed The Disgrace of Kitty Grey
The Disgrace of Kitty Grey by Mary Hooper
(Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository)

Publisher: Bloomsbury
Source: Netgalley
Pages: 288
Release Date: May 9th, 2013
Genres: Historical, Young Adult
DNF Stars
Kitty is living a happy, carefree life as a dairymaid in the countryside. The grand family she is employed by looks after her well, and she loves her trade, caring for the gentle cows and working in the cool, calm dairy. And then, of course, there is Will, the river man who she thinks is very fond of her, and indeed she is of him. Surely he will ask her to marry him soon?

Then one day disaster strikes: Will disappears. Kitty is first worried and then furious. She fears that Will has only been leading her on all this time, and has now gone to London to make his fortune, forgetting about her completely. So when Kitty is asked to go to London to pick up a copy of Pride and Prejudice, the latest novel by the very fashionable Jane Austen, Kitty leaps at the chance to track down Will. But Kitty has no idea how vast London is, and how careful she must be. It is barely a moment before eagle-eyed pickpockets have spotted the country-born-and-bred Kitty and relieved her of her money and belongings. Dauntingly fast, she has lost her only means of returning home and must face the terrifying prospect of stealing in order to survive - and of being named a thief ...

Three years ago I wrote a post about how I struggle to DNF books. Since that post I’ve DNFed maybe 3 books out of 250. As you can see, DNFing is still a struggle for me, but when it came to THE DISGRACE OF KITTY GREY it was an easy decision I made at 28%. It had already been sitting on my TBR for 3-4 years, I wasn’t going to put too much more effort into it.

I was bored

So very, incredibly bored. The whole premise of the book is all about how Kitty gets lost in London looking for her missing boyfriend. And yet Will doesn’t disappear until 25%, and Kitty hadn’t even left her workplace by 28%. There was nothing going, on, just descriptions of daily household chores and Kitty’s interactions with other servants and Will’s 4 year old sister.


Meh “historical” writing

If the writing was faster or I liked Kitty’s voice more I might have kept trying. Historical fiction is one of my favourite genres after all, especially pre-1900’s England. But I just couldn’t get into it. Kitty’s voice was very typical of historical novels with nothing unique. The info-dumping about the household stuff didn’t really help things move along.

don't care

There were a few things that got on my nerves

Nothing major. One thing was that Will, Kitty’s boyfriend, kept calling her “Susie” and we were given no reason why? Maybe it was answered later on but right now it’s a really strange nickname.

The only other thing that comes to mind is that the 4 year old was going to accompany Kitty to London. Which is kind of ridiculous, she could have stayed behind (the household liked her enough, and Kitty going meant there was one less mouth to feed anyway). I personally didn’t want to read about a child on the road.

no thanks


As a historical fiction fan, I really wanted to love THE DISGRACE OF KITTY GREY but unfortunately it wasn’t for me. I was bored and could not muster the motivation to continue. If you have read this, I hope you had better luck with it.

10 Responses to “Why I DNFed The Disgrace of Kitty Grey”

    • Bec

      I hate DNFing books. I always feel like I never gave it enough of a chance and then guilt sets in. Sometimes you just have to stop though.

    • Bec

      You DNF at what ever level you feel is right. At least that way you’re not wasting time on mediocre novels! You’re only sticking with the good ones.

    • Bec

      It is quite hit or miss, isn’t it? The writing tends to be the thing that lets it down.

      I know right! Maybe there’s an explanation thin early on, but really it should have been described sooner, especially with how often she goes on about Will.

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