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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

Friday, September 30, 2016

Determination and desires!



The opening scenes with Lady Rose Thornton discovering a wild, strangely attired Irishman in her garden, claiming to be of all things, an Earl, is quite delicious, setting up for all sorts of interpretations and actions that follow. It seems the supposed Earl has been set upon and robbed. Unfortunately the Earl of Ashton, Iain Donovan is not only looking disreputable, he has no evidence of who he is. Iain's servants have deserted him, apparently to find work. (And given the state of Ireland and the potato famine--who wouldn't take any opportunity offered). At this time England is feeling the pressure of waves of Irish either coming across with their families or by themselves, looking to earn money to send home to their starving kin. The plot is further complicated by Rose being unable to walk due to an illness. Rose's servants don't take kindly to Iain. I like the disapproving reactions and suspicions of the supercilious footman Calvert. Unbeknown to Rose, Iain has been invited to England by Rose's grandmother to find a wife--a wealthy wife to try to restore his lands and help his people. To do that he'll need help. He and Rose make a bargain to help each other. Rose wants to walk again and take her place in society. Iain needs lessons in how to be a gentleman. There is a mystery surrounding why Iain's mother has had little to do with him, neglecting his upbringing and education as a gentleman. All this leaves Iain with a determination to do the right thing, fuelled by his insecurities and doubts, and need to bring relief to his people.
A NetGalley ARC

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