Thursday, October 4, 2012

Edenbrooke by Julianne Donaldson

I didn't intend to, but I finished this book in one sitting.

In short, Edenbrooke is a romance novel set in the Regency Period (all of a sudden, I miss my Dummies Guide to Jane Austen, which I left in Singapore :/). It stars Marriane, a not very ladylike lady who's sent to live with people she doesn't know (to you know, turn her into a lady). But on the way there, she runs into a little trouble. And from that, she meets Phillip, whom she quickly discovers is part of the family she's going to stay with. To make matters bigger, he's the head of the house (which means that her sister Cecily is aiming to marry him) and she's falling in love with him.

While I'm not that much of a romance fan (so many have explicit scenes :/), this story was touching and captivating. I kept on reading because I wanted to find out what happened. And I wasn't disappointed. Plot-wise, the book is fantastic.

Character-wise, I really like the book too! Phillip and Marriane are fantastic main characters, and their interactions were very entertaining. Marriane isn't just un-ladylike, she's also a very considerate sister. She holds back on loving Phillip because she considers him her sisters. Most of the other characters were also expertly characterised. But there were two (Louise and Cecily), that gave false impressions.

False impressions because I honestly thought that the sister-rivalry concept was going to be explored in this book. There was this lovely quote that convinced me of it:

"I had to be different from Cecily so I would not be inferior. We could not occupy the same space together. Like horses in a race, I was tired of jostling for position and losing. I chose a different course so that losing would not be an option."

But there was no conflict, no resolution. At the end of the book, both sisters live happily ever after (even though Cecily doesn't win Phillip, she doesn't seem the least disappointed. Strange, considering that she's supposed to be determined to marry him). This book is slightly more than 250 pages, so I think that more could be written on this.

Still, this is only a small quibble. I have no complaints about the book, I just want to read more of it.

Disclaimer: I got a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for a free and honest review.

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