Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Five Reasons I Liked What Happens in London

What Happens in London
By Julia Quinn

Reason One: The Heroine
Lady Olivia Bevelstoke, who was introduced to us in another book by Miss Miranda Cheever (of Secret Diaries fame). We can forgive Lady Olivia for being exceptionally lovely because she is fiercely loyal to her friends, possessed of a lively intelligence and occasionally lurid imagination, and most important, she does not take herself terribly seriously. In fact, she often displays a large degree of pragmatism regarding her looks, her station and her prospects for her future. She reads the newspaper (“Every word. Every day.”) rather than devoting herself to popular, sensational novels such as Miss Butterworth and the Mad Baron. And she makes very entertaining lists.

Reason Two: Miss Butterworth and the Mad Baron
A book within a book. Too funny. How can you not love a story in which someone is tragically pecked to death by pigeons? Visions of Tippi Hedren in Regency garb went dancing through my head…

Reason Three: The Hero
Sir Harry Valentine manages to get through childhood with an alcoholic father and an emotionally unavailable mother and still turn out just fine. He may have joined the Army for the wrong reasons, inadvertently abandoning his young brother, but he makes a success of it and turns to doing important, if not exactly glamorous, work for the war office once he resigns his commission. He is an honorable man with a mischievous sense of humor. And he’s hot. Even though no one really seems sure what color his eyes are.

Reason Four: The Secondary Characters
Two irresponsible younger brothers. One lethally charming and highly dramatic cousin. Parents both good and bad. The Russian Prince. The Russian Prince’s bodyguard. Assorted servants. Nearly all of the above interacting over tea in the drawing room. With Miss Butterworth.

Reason Five: The humor.
See all of the above. Julia Quinn’s books never lack for humor or great characterization. This one has both, with a fair amount of drama at the end. Very entertaining, and highly recommended.

No comments: