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.
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!
- 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!