Publisher: Random House
Length: 408 Pages
Opening Line: 'I write this sitting in the kitchen sink.'
What's good about this novel?
I thought that the writing in this novel was very good. The descriptions of the castle and the surrounding landscape were beautiful and vivid. I felt that I was being transported to the tranquil peace of the countryside and, in the section where Cassandra travels to London, to the hustle and bustle of the city. I also liked the fact that this novel is written as diary entries. Not only does it make the book more realistic, but it also draws the reader into the story.
The characters are well formed and believeable. I could identify with a few of the characters, they reminded me of people I know in real life. However, in the case of Topaz, there is a unique quality to her.
What's wrong with this novel?
I found a few things difficult with this novel. The fact that Cassandra's sister Rose was marrying for money and believing in silly superstitions, perceived her as a weak character. In fact, I thought that this was a weak plot in the story. I also found it a little strange that Cassandra helps Rose, then suddenly changes her behaviour rather abruptly, to then pine over the man in question. I thought that this was a little feeble and in some parts, rather over dramatic.
Is this worth a read?
Yes I do think this is worth a read. The landscape depicted is beautiful and most of the characters, very well rounded. There are elements within the story which let this book down in my opinion, but overall this is a very good read.