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All art is unstable. It's meaning is not necessarily that implied by the author, There is no authorative active voice. There are only multiple readings. David Bowie, 1995

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

mistresses, misunderstandings and the misunderstood!



'Could a man not be snowbound with his wife without half of England arriving to interfere?'
And as I read along I certainly seconded the Duke of Claxton's sentiment.
The plot is thick with characters. their interplay is endearing, frustrating, humorous at times, sensual and sensitive at others. 
I quite like the major players, indeed I had moments of sympathy for both leads, 
The basic story line is couple marry, couple separate through misunderstanding and tragedy, couple have a chance to reconcile, more misunderstanding, progress is made hearts repaired, more misunderstanding, reconciliation. We see these things happening through the voices of both the Duke of Claxton, Vane Barwick, and that of his Duchess, Sophia.       
 
Certainly, the descriptive prose brings alive the winter scenes, the dashing around on sledges, the crunch of ice underfoot. The charming scene in the church of trying to find the third part of the quest is indeed humorous. The pain that both Vane and Sophia are feeling, the way they keep missing each other in their understandings is poignant. Their interplay with others is well done. All is good. Maybe there were just too many bedroom scenes but, for the characters themselves perhaps not enough!
The story line had interesting elements, the characters are believable and yes I did want to jump onstage and tell them both to listen to each other from time to time. There are some fine tension points throughout that maintained my interest.  All the elements are here and indeed this is for you if you're in the mood for something not too taxing.
I do think Dalton's 'baby' [read the forward] has a lot to recommend it despite my not being as enamoured of it as I really wanted to be.

A NetGalley ARC

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