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I would like first to convey the novel wasn't what I expected. Today (or in the US, at least), one doesn't go around saying "capture" to describe getting a feeling across on the page. Because of this, I thought it might be a metaphor or a medieval novel. Anyway...

What a splendid read it was! The journal format was a bit bizarre. I couldn't imagine anyone writing a journal in such stretches and making it all flow together so beautifully. Personally, I felt it would have been better written as a pseudo-memoir sans the dates. However, it did suck me in completely.

Cassandra was intriguing. I enjoyed the descriptions of her surroundings, feelings, family, and friends because they were just the right length to "capture" what it was she sought to explain. The castle and English countryside was a most romantic setting.

I honestly couldn't put the book down with all the cliffhangers at the beginnings of each diary entry egging me to read more and more. I can't imagine ever having read a book of a different era being so modern.

I must admit, I was positively smitten with Stephen. It was a shame Cassandra never returned his feelings, but refreshing in that the ending wasn't predictable in the least. In that instance, it was true to life. However, I can't see most "rescued" from poverty by rich neighbors.

Please add what you think! I'm excited for the discussion. :)


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 23rd, 2008 04:24 pm (UTC)
The journal format didn't feel like a journal format to me, either. Far too smooth.

What did you think of Rose's role in the ending? For me, it seemed almost too happy. I think I may have wanted Rose to suffer more considering how she played people through most of the book just for her chance to get out of poverty.
Jul. 23rd, 2008 06:27 pm (UTC)
It definitely was a happy ending for her and only her. The author seems to have wanted to reward her for her willful ignorance when it came to loving men. Ms. Smith did a fantastic job giving the reader what we least expected - a melancholy end for the protagonist Cassandra and a bright end for her sister for whom she wished so much ill. I wonder if she gave Rose the happiness because she was so much like a child, so innocent.

In short, yes, I would've been more satisfied if Cassandra lived happily ever after with Simon, but I think the author realized that would make the "journal" unrealistic. How often do two sisters marry two brothers?

If it's any consolation - at least she'll have to work hard with Neil out west and without copious amounts of money (because it was said Simon inherited the bulk of it).
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )


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