Monday, December 15, 2008
Before the Season Ends
There are so many things I didn't like about this book, but I'll start with something I did. It was a good story--a romance that those familiar with the genre would have little trouble predicting the end of, but that's why I read romances.
Now for what I didn't like. It isn't the fault of the author, if her historical research is good, but I didn't like the time/place/social class in which the book was set. "The Season" meant the time each year that Parliament was in session in London, and it was the time when debutantes came out and parties were never-ending among the upper class. The book talks of social snobbery and one-upsmanship unlike any other period about which I've read. It seems to be a time of wanton excess among the rich, with grinding poverty for the poor.
The heroine in the story is from what we'd probably call a middle class family today. They lived comfortably but not lavishly. Ariana feels called to marry a man of the cloth and since the only one she knows is an aged vicar, she "accepts" that she must marry him. Her parents aren't pleased and ship her off to London for the season with her widowed and very rich aunt. Her aunt sees having an eligible young woman in her charge as a ticket to the social events of the season. Ariana meets a young man and... You know the format, they fall for each other instantly, but something is keeping them apart. In this case the something is his lack of faith. It isn't until he finds God that she is willing to marry him.
What I find so annoying about this book is that Ariana is SO judgmental about other people's faith. Her aunt goes to church weekly, but Ariana doesn't believe she is a Christian. Her beau tells her that he was baptized and has never rejected Christianity, but she insists that he must say "the sinners prayer". I find it funny that this religion which is basically modern American fundamentalism is being transposed to Regency England.
This is a First Wildcard title. Check back December 22 to read the first chapter.