For a long, long time Edenbrooke (by Julianne Donaldson) was on my to-be-read list. The blurb was excellent, ratings on goodreads remarkable and that pretty cover totally sold me out. But obviously with everything so much flawless I didn’t, even for a second, consider that the book was going to be a complete bummer.
Marianne Daventry, a seventeen year old girl has been rusticating in Bath after her mother’s death. Meanwhile her twin sister Cecily is busy enjoying the London season. When she is invites Marianne to Edenbrooke, a grand country estate, she is ecstatic. While Cecily wants to win over Sir Philip, the heir of Edenbrooke, all Marianne wants is to enjoy the country air and twirl, yes I’m not kidding. She never considers that she may herself get attracted to Philip. After a number of ups and downs – a threatening highwayman, morning horse rides, a few misunderstandings, a kidnapping – Marianne and Philip finally convey their feelings to each other and end up together.
To begin with, Marianne has got a thing for twirling, and she would love to do it wherever and whenever she can no matter the harm. Also she is embarrassed by almost everything and therefore it is mentioned everywhere (it literally had me gnashing my teeth). And also, according to her she never faints but she does so twice or thrice within the two weeks. As for Philip, he could have been a fine man if not for his ever changing temperaments and facial expressions. There were so many loose ends and the book felt all scattered. The death of Charles Wyndham is mentioned in passing and never again. Their mother has just died and their father runs away to France to cope with it when he should be looking after his daughters. And why is Cecily enjoying the season when she should be in mourning?
I respect the dedication and hard work the author put in in this book but she left a great deal to be desired. Even a clean book as it is supposed to be could have been a lot more riveting. The writing style and the language used was extremely plain. It became somewhat tedious after a while. But for Marianne’s never ending devotion to her sister and author’s passion for writing I would give it a rating of two out of five.