Thursday, August 18
The Inconvenient Marriage of Charlotte Beck
That's how Miss Lauraine Snelling described another book by Kathleen Y'Barbo, and it definitely describes her most recent story The Inconvenient Marriage of Charlotte Beck. This book captured my interest from the first when I read the beginning using Amazon's awesome look-inside feature. I knew this was a book I'd like to read. Besides being a good story, it's filled with historical quotes from Miss Pence, though I could not find out whether she was a real person or imagined. "A lady should find a focal point on the opposite side of the room and walk toward it, head held high," Miss Pence advises. "If that focal point has a title and a hefty bank account, so much the better."
The heroine of the story, Charlotte Beck, does end up landing a hefty bank account through her inconvenient marriage. The bank account is her father's, though, and not her new husband's. The marriage is, actually, convenient in that it allows Charlotte to fulfill her new dream of going to college and it save's the Alex's family from financial ruin. The marriage is only inconvenient in that the bride and groom don't love each other.
In all honesty, I loved Alex Hambly right away! He recalls to my mind Rhett Butler--dashing and handsome. Unlike Rhett Butler, he is only mildly ungentlemanly at times and is, perhaps, what Rhett Butler would have been had he become a Christian.
Alex and Charlotte have an interesting relationship that is both coy and tense, and turns into something much more. I loved reading a book that dealt with 1800s arranged marriage. Honestly, so many marriages were arranged back then, you'd expect to find more fiction dealing with it. Perhaps writers think that readers in our oh, so feminist culture won't go for that, but I loved reading a story that showed how a couple could marry without love and still learn to love one another.
This book was provided by the wonderful people at Waterbrook Press in exchange for a thoughtful and honest review.