Saturday, April 2, 2022

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The Letter from Briarton Park, Sarah Ladd

This was a sweet novel that I finished reading about a week ago or so. I didn't have too many expectations going in and at first, I was honestly wondering why I had requested it -- I have this stupid idea that I'm somehow 'over' this type of novels due to my age. 

But this one was a nice surprise after all. I liked the warm tone of voice of the author, I very much enjoyed the female heroine, and also how she interacted with the people around her. 

I found her story to be relatively sad, but I will admit that every now and then, I would be a little annoyed by the fact that she put so much accent on her breeding and family and how unlucky she was because she didn't know her parents up to a point in her life. 

The sweet love story that blooms in this book was super enjoyable! The male character is pretty much everything you might ever want in a man. He is dependable, loyal, trustworthy, and he cares for his family, and overall he's just a good guy that wants to help Cassandra as much as possible. 

There was another male character that I didn't like at all, which made me think that the author did an excellent job of making him detestable, especially after the second half of the book.  

What I liked about it

The story in itself was interesting and I liked that the pace wasn't slow at all. There were things happening in every chapter, whether because we got to meet new characters (or some that we had heard about but whose actions we didn't previously know).

I'd say that this book is very easy to read, but the pace and the background might make it time-consuming, to some extent. 

I think I read it in a bit over a week, which might be a lot for me, at least since the beginning of the year. 

Perhaps the thing that I liked the most was Cassandra's character. She was a really down-to-earth woman that didn't want to focus on her emotions or frivolous things that might have interested other females of her time -- such as making an advantageous marriage as soon as possible. 

The overall decency of most of the characters in this book was surprising to me. I thought that Cassandra's friend would have some ulterior motive for befriending her, but that was not true in the end. 

Furthermore, I truly enjoyed the description of the views on life and society that most people had in those times -- especially since many were prejudiced against individuals that weren't in the same class as they themselves were. 

I realize this is perhaps a dated topic, but I think that reading historical novels, even historical romance, can help us better understand how people thought at a specific time. So, I think that The Letter from Briarton Park is a winner in this respect. 

And finally, what I really liked about this book was the lack of 'steam'. In the past years, I've realized that authors that focus on the intense and often times insane and instantaneous chemistry between two characters somewhat can't focus on the rest of the story, so that was not an issue I had to handle with this one. 

What I didn't like about it

I think I would have liked a faster pace, although it was moderate. 

This book left me a little frustrated at times even though the conflicts I read about resolved in the end. But the prejudice that some of the characters had against others was very challenging for me to handle -- although I understand that that's how things were back then. 

All in all, I think that this is a sweet and clean historical romance (although I wouldn't consider it 'romance' in the traditional sense of the word) that would make the perfect read for teenage girls, for example. 

Thank you to NetGalley and Thomas Nelson for giving me an e-copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 

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