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.
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