Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Mini-review: Secret History of the Pink Carnation

Let me just sum up my feelings about this book with this: I stopped reading halfway through - not to skip to the end like I do with most books, but to order the next one in the series. I liked it that much.

To begin with, my impressions of the book from the blurb and cover were completely mistaken. I thought "stuffy book about stuffy people. Blech." I want to like books that are "quality" fiction, but usually I don't. Well, that's not true. If they're well written, I don't really care what they're about. I just don't generally like really sad books (like the one I was tricking into reading last night - more on that later), which seems to me that the book club types usually are.

So I thought it was a take-off on a book that I'd never read and never wanted to read and thus, I wouldn't like it. Like all the Jane Austen take-offs. Some seem fun and interesting, but I can't bring myself to read Austen (mainly because the books have the tiniest print and I just can't read it - maybe I should make that eye doctor appointment).

And it was, in fact, sort of based on the Scarlet Pimpernel, which gets points for using one of my very favorite words inthe world. Scarlet. My middle daughter (as in middle of my three daughters, but third in line) was almost middle-named Scarlet because I love that word so much. Another of my very favorite words is vermillion - probably not a coincidence that they both describe my favorite color.

Misconception #1 - Despite being initially based on a book that I hadn't read and will never read, I wasn't lost in any way. The Scarlet Pimpernel was a very distant reference. This book was very much self-contained (well, as much as the first in a series can be - I just mean it didn't depend on my knowledge of something before it).

Misconception #2 - This was not some stuffy book. This was a romance novel. Shuffled in the pages of a chick lit novel.

I read it in a day. From cover to cover. Which is unsual for me because usually I get too impatient/bored to not skip to the end. Some books the ending tells me to go back and read the rest, some I just put down right then. Can't wait for The Masque of the Black Tulip.

In short (I mean in long and rambling), highly recommended if you like chick lit and historical romance.

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