“All those earls and dukes I refused. I always knew I’d find you one day,”
To be honest, I’ve got a bit sick of Regency-era books and i went into reading this one with the same mindset. It takes place in the years 1795-1802, and there is no shortage of dramatic events to fill the pages. The figurehead in the story is primarily Jemima Morland (until her death) but then it all gets a bit hazy after that and none of the other characters really grabbed my attention.
This being a historical novel set in the early 19th century, it gives the excuse to use all the variable diseases and disasters in which to kill characters off which don’t have much of a storyline or just need to be lobbed off for the sake of convenience. The family rifts seemed very real and were portrayed well. There were a few branches of the family that seem to have been dropped completely. I hope they’re picked up in another book soon otherwise its just a bit pointless.
Despite my hesitation, this book did make me cry a little because the relationship between Mary and Hannibal Haworth seemed so real – more real, more dependable than any of the other relationships in the story. Because there are so many young characters with no parents (due to death, obviously), it gets nigh on impossible to track family relationships and who belongs to who. At least it is more realistic, in terms of the time period they lived in.
The scandal of Captain Weston and Lucy just seemed a bit dull and even if she was maritally punished for her sexual misdemeanor, I get the feeling that she won’t get true comeuppance from it. Either that or Weston will be killed off by a stray cold in a later book. We shall see.
All in all, a passable book which I read most of during a beach trip. It is now full of sand. Oh dear. And the ending of the book was boring. The best book will always be the first one. Eleanor Courtenay was badass.
MY RATING: *** / *****