Thursday, December 16, 2010

A Review of The Arrival of Lily Curtis

Last night I started reading Rachel Brimble's historical romance, The Arrival of Lily Curtis. The novel takes place during the mid Victorian period in and around the English city of Bath. I'm enjoying this book immensely and can't wait for tomorrow's blog because Rachel Brimble will be here discussing The Arrival of Lily Curtis and what sparked her imagination to write it!

I enjoy historical fiction, and most particularly those set in England, so it is no surprise that I'm loving Rachel's story but what draws me into this book is Lily. She is ... words won't do her justice. In a nutshell? I'd say she is independent, spirited, intelligent, articulate - the list could go on and on but I think you get the picture.

Rachel's writing abilities are obvious. The dialog sparkles, (and sometimes singes!), the countryside and manor are so well described I feel like I'm walking across the floors Lily's supposed to scrub, and the sexual tension between Lily and the Viscount is palpable. All of that is wonderful of course, (music to an author's ears!) but what really makes me love this story is the fact that I can relate to Lily, and that is the hallmark of a great story teller!

Lily has lived a life of privilege. She is surrounded by luxury, cossetted, pampered, and adored. She moves in the finest circles of Society and, according to her parents, she should be content, no delighted, to follow the well worn path taken by all of the other women of her class: contract a prestigious marriage, produce heirs and spares, turn a blind eye to spousal peccadilloes, then fritter life away with fashion, soirees, and gossip.

Goodness, her family thinks, a woman must be mad to balk at such a life! Well, if that's true then bring on Lily's straitjacket! It isn't that Lily rejects the trappings of her birth so much as she questions them. Is that all there is? Does life, and my life in particular, have so little meaning? Am I nothing more than an object that serves it's function then passes away? Lily questions all of that and more. She challenges the established opinions of her society, not in a "women's rights" sort of way, but on a personal level. She isn't necessarily out to change the world, just her little corner of it. It's that search for the meaning of an individual's life that sucks me into this book. I can relate-shoot, who hasn't been where Lily is at one point or another?

I love this book, can you tell? Come back tomorrow to hear how Rachel Brimble "met" Lily and the Viscount.


  1. Sounds like a very interesting read - can't wait to read Rachel's post tomorrow.

    I always giggle at what a small world the "writing world" is - I see that one of my cps is on your blog roll. :-)

  2. Rachel, you are such a sweetheart to say so many lovely things about my book. I have so glad you are enjoying it so much. This is my first historical and was so worried about how it would be received. I am thrilled!

    Looking forward to tomorrow - thank you, thank you, thank you!


  3. Melinda it is a verrry interesting read: light and entertaining on one level but capable of provoking some personal introspection too. (at least for me anyway :)
    Writing is indeed a small world; a small but so supportive world. I'm continually amazed at how encouraging the Romance Writing world is; I wonder if it is the same in other genres?

    Glad you're interested in reading Rachel's post- she sent me pictures too!
    See ya tomorrow :)

  4. LOL Rachel. I can't believe you'd be worried about people liking this book-it is a great read and several reviewers agree with me ;).

  5. This is a great idea for a blog post Rachel! Do you mind if I steal this idea of a review for mine? I've yet to finish Riley's book which is wonderful so far : ) I figured, once I've finished blogging about all the Jewels, I can then review their books! Woohoo!

  6. Be my guest LaVerne! I'm going to try and read all the books of my guest's before they come ... the operative word being TRY :)