The Life and (Medieval) Times of Kit Sweetly
Working as a Wench―i.e. waitress―at a cheesy medieval-themed restaurant in the Chicago suburbs, Kit Sweetly dreams of being a Knight like her brother. She has the moves, is capable on a horse, and desperately needs the raise that comes with knighthood, so she can help her mom pay the mortgage and hold a spot at her dream college.
Company policy allows only guys to be Knights. So when Kit takes her brother’s place, clobbers the Green Knight, and reveals her identity at the end of the show, she rockets into internet fame and a whole lot of trouble with the management. But this Girl Knight won’t go down without a fight. As other Wenches and cast members join her quest, a protest forms. In a joust before Castle executives, they’ll prove that gender restrictions should stay medieval―if they don’t get fired first.
Kit is dealing with poverty and food insecurity on a daily basis. Her father left them and her mother works two jobs just to cover the mortgage. They all pool their money to pay for bills and hopefully have enough left to keep the lights on and eat an OK meal. Kit wants the Knight job she can't have, not only because she dreams of being a medieval knight like Joan of Arc or other notable ladies from the past, but also because the extra money would really help out.
One night, she gets her chance to take her brother's spot (unbeknownst to the management, aka her uncle). She nearly gets fired. When the video leaks out and goes viral, Kit knows she has the momentum for something bigger.
This was a fun story with a light touch of romance and some funny medieval restaurant-style scenes. The bigger/better part was the themes that deal with modern poverty, food insecurity, and gender inequality. Kit is a force, and seeing the world through her eyes is something special. This was a fast and enjoyable read with a satisfying conclusion.
As minor points, I was a bit disappointed in the inclusion of smoking as a social hobby (seemed unnecessary) and I wish there was a bit more comeuppance for some people (I won't say who to avoid spoilers).
Overall, this was a delightfully engrossing read that has some fantastic characters and important themes. Recommend for fans of books like MOXIE and THROW LIKE A GIRL.