A Bookaholic, Pro-life, Pro-Family, Pro-Oxford Comma, Catholic (with Asperger's) who reads and writes as her obsession. I've been reading over 400 books a year lately. These are my ramblings on some of the books I read. To read about all the books I read and comment on, visit me at LibraryThing or Goodreads.

I've been blogging since 2007 and at this point (July 2015) am trying my hand at turning the theme of this blog towards mystery, thriller, and crime, fiction and nonfiction. I have some special interest topics and categories within this broad genre which include (but are not limited to) serial killers, scandi-crime, Victorian history and historicals, history of the criminally insane and asylums, psychopathology, death, funerary practices and burial, corpses, true crime and anything dealing with the real life macabre, or that portrayed in fiction.

I also read a short story a day from various collections, sometimes anthologies othertimes collections of a single author's work. These reviews are also posted here and while they are of mixed genre the mystery, thriller, horror, gothic and macabre often appear within their pages as well.

I also blog about
graphic novels and manga on a separate BLOG.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

47. Love's Shadow by Ada Leverson

Love's Shadow by Ada Leverson (Canada) - (US)
Little Ottleys Trilogy, Book 1

Pages: 225 pages
Ages: 18+
Finished: Mar. 15, 2010
First Published: 1908 (US pb Bloomsbury Group edition Mar. 2010)
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Genre: romantic comedy
Rating: 5/5

First sentence:

"There's only one thing I must really implore you, Edith," said Bruce anxiously, " Don't make me late at the office!"

Acquired: Received a review copy from Penguin Group Canada.

Reason for Reading: I'm reading all the Bloomsbury Group books.

Summary: This is Edith Ottley's story, though I wouldn't call her the main character. Though it is through Edith that all the characters can be traced back (as in the six degrees of Kevin Bacon). Edith and Bruce Ottley are a young married couple with a two year old son. Bruce is hard to describe without making him sound like a chauvinistic brute. He is also a hypochondriac and would rather not work and be served upon day and night. This is Bruce's character, but it is a pastiche of the weak yet dominating husband, though not mean-spirited, just self-centred. Edith takes advice from friends, especially her mother-in-law, and always complying cheerfully she never looses the upperhand and laughs off Bruce without him even knowing it. There is also Edith's friend Hyacinth, the real main character, who is a young twenties girl living on her own, with a companion, who is in love with a man who is love with someone else. Every other man is in love (or infatuation) with her including her friends' husbands, her former guardian and her ladies companion.

Comments: Hyacinth's story becomes the main focus of the plot while Edith and Bruce's stays in the foreground being the centre from which all other story arcs are in one way or another related. These other story arcs are filled with secondary characters having relationship problems themselves. Hyacinth's love, Cecil, is in love with an older woman Eugenia, who has vowed never to marry again and thinks of him as a boy anyway. Anne, Hyacinth's ladies companion gives very intelligent advice but is jealous of anyone who will take Hyacinth away from her. Then there's Bruce, who like everyman, is attracted to Hyacinth as well, but from afar and by drilling his wife on her visits with her.

Many other characters are intertwined as well and the dialogue is full of wit and repartie. Every character is simply adorable and lovable, even the mysterious Mr. Raggett who we never really fully understand but who, unlike the other men in this story, has fallen for Edith and woos her. Bruce, himself, does take some getting used to, being the only non-likable character but he always comes up short against Edith, without even knowing it and this quiet battle of the sexes is quite humorous.

It took me several chapters (short as they are) to get into the book but once I'd met everyone and the story got going I was completely smitten with everything, everyone and all the goings on in Knightsbridge, England. This is an intelligent, bright, witty romantic comedy. A truly delightful story that can be summed up in that ubiquitous term "the British cozy".

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