Who wrote this book and when?
Elizabeth Aston published this in 2007.
Has there been a film version?
Who are the important characters?
Octavia Darcy – a young widow who finds herself with a large fortune
Lord Sholto Rutherford – a landholder and gentleman who loves to have different mistresses
George Warren – the young scoundrel who inherited Octavia’s late husband’s assets
Mr. Poyntz – a young clergyman and friend of Sholto’s
Lady Susan – the daughter of an old wealthy family, a former actress
Lady Sophronia Rutherford – Sholto’s twin sister, a woman who has no intention of ever marrying
Penelope – Octavia’s young niece, being forced into society by her overbearing mother
Charlotte Goulding – the most eligible young lady in country and city society
What’s it about?
Octavia has always been pushed aside as second best. Her seven older step-brothers and sisters consider her an embarrassment and shipped her off to India to find a husband as soon as they possibly could. When Octavia married a Darcy, she was always subtly compared to Mr. Darcy’s first wife – apparently an amazing woman. And when Captain Darcy is carried off by a jungle fever and Octavia is poor, she has no idea what to do. Content to be single the rest of her life and separate from her snobby family, Octavia doesn’t allow the sudden appearance of a vast fortune in her name to change her one bit. She tries to hide the money from her family until she is legally able to handle it and to make her way into the society that snubbed her.
Do I recommend you read this book?
If you like the previous books by this author, yes.
How did this book make my list?
I like reading books about and during the Regency period.
Has it won any awards?
“If men chose their wives with as much care and attention as they do their horses, there would be fewer unhappy marriages.” – p 221
“As to the silent watches of the night, when the fire in her room burned low, and fears and worries came weaselling out of the darkness, she could light a candle and lose herself in a book; no good could come of lying there and brooding and frightening herself with apprehension about the future.” – p 256
While I enjoy Aston’s writing, if you’ve read one of these books, you’ve pretty much got the plot for all of them – possibly with the exception of the second one. Women, who are either on the outskirts of society or completely dissolved from it, find themselves in trouble and are saved by a rich gentleman who comes to their aid in some way. This story is no different, the only change being that Octavia has already been married and is rich in her own right. There is an air of tension in this story as she tries to keep her interfering family from finding out about her fortune. Octavia is a bit less sure of herself than some of Aston’s other characters, but this is pretty much gone by the end of the story.