Day 04 – Blog Challenge – Family

Welcome to Day 04 of #BookReviewBlogChallenge. Today’s prompt is “Family”. Any book that reminds you of strong family ties will suffice for today’s challenge.

Let me start with a hat tip to Isabella of “Welcome to She Reads” for choosing the book “The Great Gatsby” for the previous prompt on Golden Classics. All the entries were amazing, which just shows how many authors write evergreen content that lasts for centuries! However, this particular book was by far the oldest one, published way back in 1925! Would like to add that Gatsby has been made into a movie multiple times, the last one in 2013 starring Leonardo di Caprio. The 2013 movie grossed over $353 million worldwide and won two Academy awards, besides being nominated for eight categories.

Today’s prompt

Coming back to today’s prompt – This was a tough choice as there are so many titles and authors to choose from. Finally decided to go with this old Barbara Cartland book I read as a young girl.

  • Title – The Husband Hunters
  • Author – (Dame) Barbara Cartland

The story revolves around 3 sisters who come to London to find a husband and their interaction with each other. Plus, this was a book that we brought home from the local library and my entire family took turns reading it. This includes me, my twin sister, my mom and my grandmother! Yes, we are a family of bibliophiles! Addiction to good books runs in my blood! 😊

Anyway, this book reminds me of the fun times of my happy childhood, so it felt perfect to use it for today’s prompt.

REVIEW SCORE = 4.5/5 *****

Why I love this book

I love Barbara Cartland (BC) books for many reasons. First, have you seen the covers? This was an age before Photoshop and image editors, so the quality of the hand painted illustrations always dazzles me. All BC romances have such brilliant covers.

Second, have you read the biography on the author? She was awarded a knighthood (Dame of England) for her prolific writing skills, she was a writer for the Society (read gossip) column for the biggest newspaper and she was known to throw the most amazing balls and parties. Her sense of style also made her cult icon of her times! I always assumed she used her personal experiences to portray the minute details in the dresses and balls she wrote in her books.

Did you know Dame Cartland is a relation to Princess Diana? Look it up!

Third, the story is always a Victorian historical romance, so it is filled with ballrooms, haute couture, political intrigue (sometimes) and vivid characters. Some readers might find the female characters too weak or submissive, typically not the lead heroine though. However, this was an era where women were treated like chattel, so the logic is contemporary by those standards.

Unlike many historical romances, BC books are “clean” romances. With hindsight, I assume that is why my grandma allowed 10-year old girls to read these books in the first place! 😉 As an adult, I find it remarkable that the author wrote hundreds of books without having to resort to steamy scenes to keep readers engaged!

This book stands out because the sisters arrive at London with an extremely specific image of their potential husbands but who they ultimately choose is not what they expected. The final twist to show the true character of the stern, almost Draconian Duke, their sponsor, is revealed cleverly at the end.

If anyone wants to read a clean romance, or just a lighthearted reading for pure entertainment and good writing, then pick this one or any of the other titles by this author. You will not regret it at all!

Similar Works

  • Books – Any other historical romance by this author (Barbara Cartland). Julia Quinn and Emma Leech are similar.
  • Movies – Pride and Prejudice. Many of BC books have been turned into movies. Notable among them are “Hazard of Hearts” and “A Ghost in Monte Carlo”.
  • Genres – Historical Romance, Clean Romance.

Until next time, Adieu and Happy Reading!

21 Comments, RSS

  1. Finitha Jose April 29, 2020 @

    I chose Pachinko by Min Jin Lee, a story of four generations of a Korean family in Japan. Here is the link :

  2. Ann April 29, 2020 @

    What a lovely storyline! No wonder the book became a bestseller. Immigrant stories always fascinate me, having to leave your whole history behind and start anew from scratch!
    Great choice, thanks for sharing! 👏

  3. Finitha Jose April 29, 2020 @

    The story reminds me of Georgette Heyer novels. Barbara Cartland is new to me. I love all kinds of historical novels, so thanks a lot for sharing this book. Adding to TBR 😊

    • Ann April 29, 2020 @

      haven’t heard of Georgette Heyer, will look her up! 😊

  4. Miss Camila April 29, 2020 @

    I love books about siblings and it’s nice that you chose one that reminds you of your childhood. I chose Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl because I am a sucker for grandparent-grandchild relationships and Charlie has the cutest relationship with all of his grandparents, especially Grandpa Joe.

  5. Ann April 29, 2020 @

    Kids, family and chocolate – all the things I love. Very apt choice for the theme.

    Also love the way you provide pointers for discussion with kids about important but sensitive topics like poverty, body image issues, etc! Its very interesting to read reviews on children’s books from a teacher’s perspective. You obviously love and excel at your work!

  6. Delia Macdonald April 29, 2020 @

    Such a fun topic! I think its great that everyone in your family was able to share your book. What a true family experience. I enjoyed a novel about the Tudor Dynasty, a family that has interested me for a long time. An Alternative History of Britian : The Tudors

    • Ann May 1, 2020 @

      A book about alternative history – what an intriguing book. Major history buff here, so will definitely take a look.
      Great choice!

  7. Isabella April 29, 2020 @

    I chose Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim! It’s a spin-off of Mulan, so the family ties are strong and inspiring!

    • Ann May 1, 2020 @

      Hi Isabella,
      What a gorgeous cover and thrilling story! Well done.

      • Isabella May 6, 2020 @

        I was going back through the posts and saw the shoutout. Thanks so much!!

  8. Unidragonfrag April 30, 2020 @

    • Ann May 1, 2020 @

      Thanks Unidragon – most of Barbara Cartland books have gorgeous illustrated covers!

      Your choice of book is excellent – in fact, the story sounds perfect to be made into a movie or Netflix adaptation!

  9. Niru April 30, 2020 @

    I chose The Duke and I by Julia Quinn . Blog post here

    • Ann May 1, 2020 @

      Julia Quinn stories are wonderful. Also, loved your humorous checklist style of reviewing why this book fits the theme! Virtual claps!
      The cover for this book is quite attractive too!

  10. Brooke Banks May 3, 2020 @

    This wasn’t planned out a head of time, but my library hold came through for My Sister, The Serial Killer.

    • Ann May 3, 2020 @

      Gosh, the title itself is intriguing! You’ve portrayed the conflict of interest quite well. Plus, I think this is the first audiobook I’ve heard mentioned in this challenge so far! 🙂

  11. Svetlana Libenson May 7, 2020 @

    For this prompt I chose Truths I never told you by Kelly Rimmer which came out last month in April, and it focuses a lot on the closeness of family.

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