Sunday, December 11, 2005

Review:The Painted Rose

The hero, Lucien Delacourte, has fled to the English countryside in disgrace and completely destitute from Paris to accept a tutoring position in a wealthy household. After a carriage accident, Sarah Essington, sister of the Earl of Darby, has hidden for the last five years on her brother's estate. During her self enforced isolation she has created a fantastic garden which is her pride and joy. Now she wishes to paint her garden and make a gift for the king. Thus Lucien enters the world of the Essingtons.

Each person in the household leads a complex, layered life not immediately revealed but which impacts the Hero and Heroine. Instead of concentrating on the evolving love story the plot devolves into a series of scenes featuring other characters' machinations and motivations regarding one person or another in the household.

What begins as a deeply touching story of two people slowly returning to life after grievous wounds deviates into a semi gothic mystery in which their relationship is no longer the centerpiece. I was mad about that, actually. I was very invested in Lucien and Sarah and why she insisted on hiding away & would they work out their issues, etc.

I ended up skimming the last half. I nearly didn't finish it, actually. There is an HEA, and all of the loose threads are neatly tied into a bow. Ms. Birdsell has certainly caught my eye despite the fact that I didn't like the way this story developed. The emotions between Lucien and Sarah were touching and well depicted. Hopefully Ms. Birdsell's next story will detail the Hero and Heroine more than the secondary characters.

1 comment:

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