Monday, October 11, 2010

Lauren Willig's The History of the Pink Carnation

My thoughts on The History of the Pink Carnation are a bit desultory. I feel as though as soon as I form one opinion, another thought forms, possibly even a contradictory one. The main frustration that strikes me is that although I did enjoy the characters overall, they were a bit daft and I did find myself perplexed, at times, at their lack of figuring obvious things out. I also found some of her...descriptions were a bit overboard. Overall, however I did enjoy the story, and I do look forward to seeing where the author takes the characters in future novels.

The History of the Pink Carnation begins with Eloise Kelly - a young historian writing her dissertation - traveling through England on the tube to meet an ancestor of Lord Richard Selwick, otherwise known as the Purple Gentian and friend and one time sidekick to The Scarlet Pimpernel. Eloise is hoping Mrs. Selwick-alderly has some information that will uncover the true identity of the Pink Carnation, which has never been revealed. Gold is struck when the historian not only finds there is information, but a whole chest of diaries and manuscripts waiting to be read. With permission, Eloise immerses herself in the documents and gets lost in a story of love, dissembling, and espionage in the midst of handling life in the real world.

For those that enjoy the genre of historical romance, this is an agreeable story. Although, I did find it quite unbelievable, and the characters unrealistic, especially in a sense of propriety, I was also regaled by the amusive tone of the narration and the overall enjoyment of reading of that time period.


seana said...

Thanks for the review. For me, tone would be everything in this kind of book.

Glenna said...

Definitely, and I'm not sure how you feel about the romance genre, but although I enjoyed it, it was a bit heavy, almost distractingly so at times, on the romance side of things.