I have now come full circle in my journey of reading through all of the Sarah M. Eden novels that I own (I’m only missing An Unlikely Match and Courting Miss Lancaster from my shelf, and for the life of me I can’t seem to be at the library at the same time as those books.) So, this is the (tentative) end of my journey (at least until I decide to read them all again… :) that’ll be fun) and as such I feel the need to not only review the book but give some more of my general impressions of the author.
First of all, a disclaimer. I realize that this book is not one filled with new and exciting plot. It is essentially, a Jane Eyre story (but I like the characters a bit more, and I like her writing style better). A governess (who actually isn’t a governess, which adds to the plot) a man haunted by his late wife (she really is dead in this one–not just crazy and hid in the attic) and an angelic little girl (who I liked so much it was nearly unbearable). It has all the elements, but the ending is so much different than Jane Eyre’s. :) It’s good. Oh! And this one is the only book of hers (so far) that involves religion and God a little bit more–part of the plot is her helping him feel forgiven and let go of his guilt. And know that he’s not a hypocrite. :) but it’s all just Christian-y Regency-y stuff, so I still don’t consider it to be a really religious book.
Second, we shall get through the content so I can go on the fun stuff.
A few kisses, and general admittance of the fact that they like each other. Big surprise, that one. (psh.) and some good old Regency-bad-language-but-not-actual-swearing words, like deuced and blast and lud and stuffs like that. :) So basically this book is as clean as the rest of her publications.
Now, we can talk about Sarah M. Eden in general. heeheehee…
Throughout all of the books that I have read, there are very few authors who can truly make a historical book come alive. I don’t just mean that you can see the places there talking about and get transported there in your imagination–no. That happens quite a bit. No, what I mean is that I started to hear voices in my head, with her characters. I read it in an english accent, speaking in my faux Mr. Darcy voice because I needed to at least attempt to do the characters justice. I have read romances set in regency eras and historical novels and all sorts of things, but only Sarah M. Eden has been able to make me think of Jane Austen so much.
I have read excerpts from other peoples regency romance novels (mainly from the faux regency novels that are so scandalous) and sure, they do the research. Sure, they have the language right with the dialogue. But they’re not regency. The turn of phrase when describing something, the words used to speak, the pure Regencyness of it all–that is Sarah M. Eden’s alone (so far. I haven’t read every regency romance novel out there, despite what some of my friends say).
That is not to say Sarah M. Eden is perfect in her writing or her research. No. She said they would go inside and have some hot chocolate. Hot chocolate wasn’t made inside one’s own home until much later. I think. Maybe. I know it existed, but anyway, yeah. maybe. So scrap that, she’s pretty dang thorough in her research. Even the book Seeking Persephone, which received a review-type-thing that bashed it because there were wolves in it and (they were quite adamant) there were no wolves in England at that point in time. Which every person on earth should know. Obviously.
But when I read the novel for myself, I was left in heaps of giggles for a moment when I read on the page before me the words. ‘If one insisted on complete accuracy, the pack in Falstone Forest were not technically wolves. […] but the resulting mongrel looked and acted like wolves, so the word stuck. Besides, if if any man in England ought to have his own personal pack of wolves, the Duke of Kielder ought. So, he never corrected the locals. Wolves he wanted, so wolves he had.’ (Eden, 102).
It cracked me up.
So basically, I love Sarah M. Eden, because she writes romance in the Regency fashion, which is totally true to the times–not just in the style of writing, the clothes, titles, laws, and wolves, but in the manners of society. People were not sleeparounds in 1800’s england. They did not give away their virtue so easily, if only for the fear of scandal. So, the moral of the story is, read her books. :)
And here are a few of my favorite images that reminded me of this vibes this book gives off when I googled drops of gold.