Posts Tagged ‘London

07
Jun
09

Book Review: The Wife Trap

The Wife Trap

Review on: The Wife Trap by Tracy Anne Warren

Rating:  4/5

Are you a fan of Irish/Scottish accents? I happen to be a very big fan, and adore books that have characters such as them, since one can almost imagine the way the accent is spoken while the dialogue is being read out on paper. One thing I love about Irish/Scottish characters in books or movies, is that most of them almost seem untamed, proud, free, mischievous and daring. It just so happens that the Irish character in this book is just that.

One thing most novels that discuss English society talk about, are the rules of high society that come with being a lady or gentleman. One must act a certain way, think a certain way, believe in a certain way and behave in a certain way. Lady Jeannette Brantford, the main character of the story decides to escape from all that for a few weeks by convincing her more logical twin sister to take her place. This inevitably leads to problems when Jeannette’s twin ends up marrying and falling for her husband. Her rebellious and independent decision leads her parents to the conclusion that she should be temporarily exiled to the country where some family members live.

Being a woman of high society, Jeannette is not used to the more provincial country life, away from balls, men, London talk and fashionable everything. It is during her stay in the country that she meets a man who teases and taunts her, and makes her “almost” forget about the rules of society. This dangerous flirtation eventually leads to both of them being spotted in an undesirable situation which forces them both to wed each other. What makes it even more interesting is that Jeannette thinks her husband is merely a commoner, when he is in fact a man of status. Their flirtations and teasings throughout the story is a funny but also romantic way of showing their love for each other, even in the end when they are apart and are forced to realize the truth within themselves.

If there’s one thing I love in this story, it’s the dialogue between our English lady and her Irish man. There’s a competition between the two, which show how feisty they both are (and proud), but which also shows their weakness for one another. Wonderful descriptions of the locations describe the simple beauty of the settings each character is present in and how this inevitably affects their personalities within the story. There is a variety of characters which of course keep the story quite interesting, with the inclusion of not only an Irish man but also the inclusion of twin-switching twins. Many parts in the story are surprising and will keep one on their toes, with even the ending giving readers a surprise.

One thing that does not please me in the story though is the freedom which Jeannette acts on throughout the story. She is quite rebellious in the story, but also somewhat quite “primal” in how she proceeds with many of her decisions. It can be quite surprising at times to see how a lady might act if she chooses to do so, and how easy it is for her to let go of some things or beliefs that a lady of her time would hold dear. Of course, I don’t think it’s wrong since the author has her reasons for putting such things in the story, for her character and the plot and flow of the story as well.

If there’s one thing I love about Jeannette’s rebellious nature (despite what I mention in the previous paragraph) is that it leads Jeannette to interesting observations and realizations at the end of the story that give it an ending flair. I’d have wished the story’s flow was more uniform, since some gave too much detail to the present time (within the story) and others (like weeks/months) were summed into short paragraphs that wasn’t enough to stimulate more interest in the character’s relationship to one another.

Quite an interesting perspective though, and the dialogue of course gives life to the story and to the characters. Another interesting read.


20
Apr
09

Book Review: Mr Darcy Presents His Bride

Mr Darcy Presents His Bride

Review on: Mr Darcy Presents His Bride by Helen Halstead

Rating:  3/5

This story begins right at the end of Jane Austen’s story, with Elizabeth already engaged to be married to Mr Darcy, and preparations for the wedding to be set. Mr Darcy Presents His Bride is an interesting take into the story that happens after Elizabeth becomes Mrs. Darcy, their presentation into society, the effects on not only the Bennet household but on the Darcy household as well.

What’s nice about the book is that it not only focuses on Fitzwiliam and Elizabeth Darcy’s lives, but also includes the continuing stories of Jane and Charles Bingley, Lady Catherine de Bourgh, Anne de Bourgh, Georgiana Darcy, Kitty Bennet, Mary Bennet, and Lydia Wickham. It also includes other interesting new characters that the author puts in, in-dialogue with Austen’s original characters.

The story includes a quick look into London Society, and how Elizabeth is first looked upon by London society, with an inclusion of the beliefs of society as to the status and fortune of Elizabeth and her family. The author also does not fail to include the realities of married life, and presents fights that occur between Elizabeth and Fitzwilliam during their married life. The loveliness of this book lies in the fact that Elizabeth is very present in the lives of her sisters, Georgiana and Kitty, as they mature within the story. Also in this book, Elizabeth appears as very real and continues her dislike for her mother’s simple want of high society, by not being drawn into high society and doing her best to remain as real to herself as possible.

There are of course some things that I did not (personally) like in the story. There was (for me) a lack of dialogue within the story. There were parts of the story that passed too quickly and there was a definite lack of dialogue, though the author included letters-writing to quicken the passing of time within the story. Also, there were some parts of the story I believed to be too modern for such a time, which of course is not the fault of the author since writers of present society unconsciously put in modern thought to their writing. I also feel that some parts of story made Elizabeth too easily accepted by society, which could be contrary to the truth in reference to how real high society might actually accept outsiders.

Many of the “new characters” in the story were very interesting, but it felt as if the potentials of those characters weren’t utilized to the fullest, and most of them didn’t appear much throughout the story. Or at least, if not much, they seemed crucial to parts of the story but weren’t really wholly ingrained in the flow of the plot.

Otherwise, the story is a great perspective as to the events that happened after the Pride and Prejudice story. It has interesting characters, interesting dialogue, and an interesting flow of events. A very interesting read.

Decide for yourself if you like the book or not. :) Enjoy~

This book review is based on personal opinions and perspectives, and is also based on a history of reading many books of this time.

17
Apr
09

Book Review: Pride and Prejudice

Pride and Prejudice

Review on: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Rating:  5/5

Recommended

A beloved classic of all time, with one of the most favorite love stories of all time. Pride and Prejudice, I believe is not done justice by the movies that followed the release of the book. In a time when money and society were considered more important than love and happiness, there lived a woman (Elizabeth Bennet) from a large and not entirely wealthy family who believed that one could not marry without affection. Her pride, wit and intelligence made her an interesting character, though not an entirely favored one since women without fortune or status were not highly looked upon in society. There also came to appear a man (Fitzwilliam Darcy) whose fortune made him bearable by most of the town to talk to, though his pride  and seemingly apathetic nature was the disdain of many.

Wit against wit, pride against prejudice, the continued encounters each grew into something more. It was the belief then that society could not tolerate a relationship such as theirs, and while one (in the beginning) struggled against his feelings, another was entirely ignorant of his affection towards her. It could not be overlooked however when in light of his feelings, his mistakes that caused the sadness of a loved one were shown, and his unjust actions towards an acquaintance were clarified. What appeared to be pride and prejudice on both sides eventually gave way in the story, leading to respect, modesty and even love.

Truly a love story what one would like to believe, still existed in our modern world.

What I loved most about the book is the witty dialogue between the characters, with a detailed relay of events and presentation of characters throughout the entire story, I believe it to be a much more interesting presentation than the movies themselves. One of the best things in the book is that despite the use of somewhat classical English, each sentence in itself is a presentation of the artful language of such a time. It was also a great thing to have to watch how slowly each of the characters evolved within the story, and also how eventually they came either to love, accept, and feel dislike for each other.

A book I wholly recommend, this book is honestly not an easy read and may need more concentration in reading it than other books. Really a wonderful classic. Now I see why many people fell in love with the book, the author and its characters. Definitely a book one must read at least once in their life.




The Doll(dalera)

What lies behind the mask of a doll, kept sheltered and propped against the shelf wall. Beautiful and untouched for all to see, she comes unmasked in beautiful glory.

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A fresh university graduate from the Ateneo de Manila University who loves to write stories, articles and poetry. Enjoys reading books - mostly fiction, and loves to play video games.

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