“So together the family danced and sang – a pirate and a duchess, a duke and an artist, a man and a woman – down the many days and byways of a long and happy life.”
So…sigh. Beautiful. This is the last sentence in Eloisa James’ book, The Ugly Duchess. It was the first I’ve read of her, and I’m so glad I gave into the impulse to buy it. Simply wonderful. There is such a richness and texture to her story, which I’m sure her heroine Theo (Daisy) would appreciate. The characters are layered individuals, flawed. They make mistakes and aren’t cool customers at all times, and to me, that makes them real. We’re like that, too. Sometimes I’ve been in a situation where, in retrospect, I wish I’d been more clear or said or done something differently, and just didn’t. Despite the setting, and the outlandish turn of events, I could believe the main problem between Theo and James because it’s one a woman and a man could have today.
I won’t go into too much depth reviewing the book, but there is a second reason I’m glad I read it. In my last post, I wrote about how I was having issues with timeline in my work-in-progress and I didn’t know if it was going to work out. The Ugly Duchess has a timeline that spans years, and it works. My story doesn’t take place over half that amount of time, so, if I can be as compelling a storyteller as James, I think (hope, anyway) that I can tackle the time issues.
At any rate, if you’re in the need for a sigh-worthy Sunday, or Monday or Wednesday for that matter, pick up this book. It’s got it all.