What a wonderful way to wile away the weekend…
I loved seeing Clara and Quincy’s story unfold. Here are the reasons this one will be on my keeper shelf:
1. Clara is a complex heroine who has given up on her chance at happiness. She has sacrificed herself for her family, and built a fortress around her heart. She carries the burden of a deep and secret sorrow. She is well into spinsterhood- a maiden of 31. She is not an innocent debutante, and I was profoundly touched by her commitment, despair and resignation.
2. Quincy is an emotionally mature hero. He is aware of both his shortcomings and his strengths, and isn’t afraid to voice his feelings. He acknowledges Clara’s sacrifice and bravery, and cements his reputation as a man who notices the important things. “I am ridiculous in a good many things, but not in this. You think because you’ve led a quiet life at home that you’re not brave. It’s easy to leave everything behind when times are hard. Often it’s the person dealing with the difficulties of day-to-day living that turns out to be the bravest there is.” Swoon.
3. Their relationship is based on friendship, mutual respect, and slow burn. Although the attraction between them could light even the most sodden kindling, when they finally take that step it is a moment of both trust and fragility.
4. There is a dragon in the form of an indomitable dowager. And I am convinced Lady Tesh and Lady Danbury would be the closest of confidantes– although there would be endless machinations to gain the upper hand.
Read this if you need a slow simmer of warmth to keep winter at bay.