Monday, 16 March 2020

An Embroidered Spoon by Jayne Davis. Reviewed by Anne Holt

shortlisted for book of the month


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Romance
1800s
Wales

"...the characters are believable because they aren't perfect... we immediately become interested in them."


"Wales 1817. After refusing every offer of marriage that comes her way, Isolde Farrington is packed off to a spinster aunt in Wales until she comes to her senses. Rhys Williams, there on business, is turning over his uncle’s choice of bride for him, and the last thing he needs is to fall for an impertinent miss like Izzy – who takes Rhys for a yokel. Izzy’s new surroundings make her look at life, and Rhys, afresh. But when her father, Lord Bedley, discovers that the situation in Wales is not what he thought, and that Rhys is in trade, a gulf opens for a pair who’ve come to love each other. Will a difference in class keep them apart"

Did I like Isolde - Izzy - when I first met her? No, not much. She is spoilt, arrogant, has very few good manners -- in short, she is a petulant young miss who could do with a good talking too. Which is partly why her Papa has sent her off to the wilds of Wales. So, I didn't like her, but Ms Davis has written the character so convincingly that I found myself hooked. Izzy is the female equivalent of the 'bad boy hero'; She is an utter madam but you very quickly start rooting for her because you know that somewhere - somewhere - is a likeable person screaming to get out!

Wales, back in the 1800s is just as cold, wet, muddy and isolated as it can be today (even more so: no central heating or reliable transport back then!) Used to a life of comfort and luxury, it is not difficult to understand, and very soon sympathise with, Izzy's petulance. 

Then she meets Rhys. I liked Rhys, but in the time-honoured way of the Romance Read, of course things for our heroine and hero go wrong. There are misunderstandings and obstacles - the path of true love never runs smoothly. Well not in the inclement climate of Wales,where the importance of the correct status is paramount, anyway.

Thus far, a typical run-of-the-mill Regency Romance. 

But there is a big difference with this one: the characters are believable because they aren't perfect; we immediately become interested in them (and very soon change opinion about Izzy) because the author is clever enough to lure us into wanting to know what happens next and to care about these two young people.

An easy, delightful, read.

As for the connection of the spoon: you will have to read the book to find out its significance.

Reviewed for Discovering Diamonds
© Anne Holt

 e-version reviewed








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