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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

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

'I am not duchess material!'


                         

Macabre premise of a determined scientifically gifted young woman who loves her guardian and mentor so much that she attempts to bring her back to life. This makes for a marvellous literary opportunity.
Felicity Fields is somewhere on the autism spectrum. Her passion is chemistry. With the death of her beloved guardian Aunt Margaret, she throws her energies into alchemy and the search for the elixir of life, and the creation of the Philosophers stone. Felicity's desire to bring her aunt back to life, based on her absolute love for her, is an overwhelming fixation. And time is running out!
Nicholas Harding, the Duke of Wycliffe, has been slightly in awe of Felicity from childhood. He is inured, although not immune, to her habits and forthright manner. He has returned to Tewbury, partly for a friend's wedding and partly to 'do the right thing' and bring Felicity to London to have a season, fulfilling his duty and obligations due her.  Something Felicity has no time or inclination for.
Recently disappointed by his failure to have his Night Watch Bill passed in the House of Lords, his initial encounters with Felicity bring that home to him. My thoughts were that had he a determined Felicity by his side, applying her logical thought processes to his problems, perhaps things might have been different for his Bill's process. (But then maybe not, as Felicity is decidedly lacking in the social understandings.)  As Felicity so succinctly stated, she's not duchess material, but then again, never has a person been more confident in who she is.
I really liked Felicity, her forthrightness, her passion, her willingness to follow her dreams, and I really liked her friends, the little we saw of them.
This novella is certainly an entertaining gothic addition to the series.

A NetGalley ARC

*****

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