Friday, February 19, 2010
The Country House Courtship by Linore Rose Burkard
Ahhh . . . Regency. Grab the Pride and Prejudice DVD, a bowl of popcorn, and prepare to be transported to another time. Oh, wait. This is a book I'm talking about.
First, the back cover copy of this Jane Austen-esque offering:
Linore Burkard's fans devoured her first two Regency novels Before the Season Ends and The House in Grosvenor Square. Now, as her third novel opens, the year is 1818 and Miss Beatrice Forsythe is determined to marry well. After all, her sister, Ariana, married The Paragon, Mr. Phillip Mornay, five years earlier--which all but guarantees that she, Beatrice, can also make a famous match to a wealthy man.
But her sister and husband have disappeared from high society as they raise a family at their country estate. Can Beatrice persuade them to chaperone her in London? And what about Beatrice's business with the curate, Mr. O’Brien, whom she rashly promised to marry years earlier. At seventeen now, she has no wish to marry a mere clergyman—despite his agreeable countenance and gentle, understanding ways.
When Mr. Tristan Barton becomes the tenant of the Manor House, Beatrice's hopes seem to have found their object. But when Ariana falls gravely ill, secrets come to light, motives are revealed, and the pretenses that are easy to keep up in the darkness begin to crumble. Hearts are bared, truths uncovered, and when all is said and done, a country house courtship like no other has occurred!
As always, Linore Burkard delivers “spirited romance for the Jane Austen soul.”
And now, my review:
This kind of novel, with this level of commitment to Regency, stylistically speaking, takes some getting used to, especially for a writer/reader in 2010.
Head hopping and two speakers per paragraph in “real time,” are two elements which threw me initially as I was reading. That, and the language. (BTW, you’ll find a short glossary at the back of the book. FYI.)
But, I enjoyed this book. The story, the characters. And though I haven’t read books one and two, I found I could follow this story just fine. This is a stand alone novel. But for readers of books one and two, I imagine you’ll have a deeper connection and experience reading this novel.
I felt Burkard especially captured the sometimes maddening immaturity of Beatrice, as well. And the two romances which developed? Delicious.
Burkard’s tagline seems very fitting: Inspiration Romance for the Jane Austen Soul. I very much enjoyed the exuberance this adherence to the Regency genre permitted the author. She successfully, masterfully, gives us Regency in all its flavors, oddities (to modern readers), romance, and liveliness.