It’s all her uncle’s fault. For years Charlotte Withersby has been free to pursue her love of plants and flowers by assisting her botanist father. But now that she’s reached the old age of twenty-two, an intrusive uncle has convinced her father that Charlotte’s future–the only proper future for a woman–is to be a wife and mother, not a scholar.
Her father is so dependent on her assistance that Charlotte believes he’ll soon change his mind…and then Edward Trimble shows up. A long-time botany correspondent in the South Pacific, Trimble arrives ready to step in as assistant so that Charlotte can step out into proper society–a world that baffles her with its unwritten rules, inexplicable expectations, and confounding fashion.
Things aren’t perfectly smooth between Trimble and her father, so Charlotte hatches a last gasp plan. She’ll pretend such an interest in marriage that the thought of losing her will make her father welcome her back. Only things go quickly awry, and she realizes that the one man who recognizes her intelligence is also the person she’s most angry with: Edward Trimble, her supposed rival. Suddenly juggling more suitors than she knows what to do with, Charlotte is caught in a trap of her own making. Will she have no choice but to leave her beloved flowers behind?
I am a huge fan of Siri Mitchell’s contemporary novels, but I will admit to have just an okay relationship with her historical novels. Initially, I was going to wait to read this one, but I saw a good review of it and decided to try it. So glad I did. Here’s why:
What I liked:
The time period and location. I was so happy to learn that it this novel takes place in Victorian England. I just love regency novels, and though this one is not exactly what you think of when you think of regency, it has all the right elements of a regency: class issues, subtle-ness of words, the clothes, and the much desired marriage proposals.
The humor. It’s not often I laugh-out-loud with a book, but this one had me giggling.
Charlotte. I’ve thought and thought about Charlotte, but I cannot say that she was an annoying heroine. I really liked her. She’s smart and straightforward but also really cares about those around her. I could understand her frustration with her father and Mr. Trimble and I enjoyed watching her navigate the social world.
The romance. It was the best kind. It was slow and steady, built upon a foundation of friendship and respect. You know it’s going to happen and it is so fun seeing it come to light.
Spiritually, the message is very subtle, but it is that God is much bigger than we may think and that ties to who we are individually. You are not just one thing, but made up of many things.
What I didn’t like:
Charlotte’s world was kind of small, but that’s to be expected in this time.
Romantic Scale: 8
Overall a very entertaining novel. I sat down to start it and didn’t get up until I finished it. If you need to smile, read this book.
**I received this book from Netgalley. My opinion was not affected in anyway.**