Mackenzi Lee, bestselling author of The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue, takes on Dutch Tulip Fever!
My brother Bastian was born in a tulip field, or so the story goes. The woman at the church orphanage boasted this proudly to the seed merchant who had chosen Bas as his apprentice. Lucky for me, he took us both.
When a single tulip bulb sold for the price of Amsterdam's finest houses, the flower shop was supposed to be our future, our survival. But when our master died, there wasn't even money to pay for his coffin. He, too, had caught the tulip fever.
Bas and I hatched a dangerous, outrageous plan, a plan I hoped would save our shop - and save us. I would dress as a man, take on a new name, and attempt to sell a fake Semper Augustus bulb, the rarest and most valuable tulip of all, to the one merchant in town with the money to pay for it.
But then I met his daughter, Elsje, and fell in love with her at first sight. Immediately, we were bound together. And the longer I lived a man's life, the less it felt like a disguise. The trousers fit better than dresses ever had, and my new name dripped from Elsje's tongue like sweet syrup.
Now, I hardly know - and must discover - what to do. Who to save. Who to become. Who I am.
Mackenzi Lee's The Madness Blooms is perfect for the teen and adult fans of Julie Berry, Jessie Burton, Ruta Sepetys, and Sarah Waters.