Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Asherwood Protegee

Asherwood Protegee is a novel of Regency England. The time period of the story makes it a contemporary of other Regency novels like Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. I believe this story is a sequel to the Duchess of Asherwood by Mary A. Garratt. I didn't read the first novel and probably won't.

The Asherwood Protegee is a well written modern story. Yes, it takes place during Regency England, but it has some modern interpretations. Perhaps this story is closer in mood to Elizabeth Gaskell than Austen. Gaskell, a true contemporary of Austen, had some rather modern views of women's roles. Austen's stories have a lot of depth and Gaskell's stories are sprinkled with dashes of humor. How does Garratt's story fit in? It would be hard for me to truly compare her story with the masters of Regency romance.

In this story, the Duke and Duchess of Asherwood decide to sponsor their vicar's daughter, Donna, during the social season of London. The social season is the time that many English upper middle class spend to find a husband. Donna is initially resistant. She is bookish and prefers to study and learn than waste time socializing. But with some arm twisting, she does go and intrigue and mystery ensues. Throw in the Duke of Wellington in disguise and a love interest for an interesting story.

Or not. I have to say I did get bored. I knew where the story was going, for the most part. Even though the story wraps up rather neat and tidy, there are some that may enjoy it. It is a more gentle read.

Book rating: 3

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