Martha is one of those Revolutionary women that has always intrigued me, but is one that I don’t know much about (I am much more well versed with AbigMartha is one of those Revolutionary women that has always intrigued me, but is one that I don’t know much about (I am much more well versed with Abigail Adams and Dolley Madison). The part of her life that I knew the most about was the Presidential years, so I was most interested in reading about her earlier life, especially her first husband, Daniel Custis. Interestingly, last summer while in Williamsburg, Virginia I accidentally happened upon the graves of Daniel Custis and two of their children, which intrigued me to know more.
A decent amount of time was spent on her marriage to Daniel Custis – comparable to the seven years in which they were married. While I didn’t get to know Daniel as well George Washington, I felt that Moser gave us enough to understand Martha’s relationship with him. On the other hand, Martha was portrayed well. She was given her own voice, in her own age. It is obvious that she was a strong and passionate woman – she held a lot of things together following Daniel’s death prior to her marriage to George. I was thrilled to see the family side of George Washington. He is typically portrayed as more reserved and stoic. Here we see him actually get mad as well as be very loving with his family.
The novel doesn’t spend much time on the actual Presidential years. The majority of the time spent on the Washington marriage is dedicated to the Revolutionary War years and then the retirement years following the presidency. I would have liked a little more about how Martha handled the years in the capital city. It almost glazed over this period, just barely touching upon certain aspects. As this is the aspect most people already know about, I can understand the desire to skip over it, but when the rest of her life was treated relatively chronologically, it stood out as an omission.
Overall Martha was done justice by Moser novel treatment. I felt that she really came alive within the pages. While there are some areas that I think could have been improved, it was overall an enjoyable novel.
The audio production was just OK. I didn’t love the narrator’s voice and there wasn’t great definition of characters.
This review was previously posted @ The Maiden's Court. Was received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review....more
The first thing that I noticed about this novel was how it feels different than the first in the series, Rules for a Rogue. Even though Jasper Grey ceThe first thing that I noticed about this novel was how it feels different than the first in the series, Rules for a Rogue. Even though Jasper Grey certainly falls into that category and Sophia does have a run in with a few scoundrels within the pages, it felt a little less about proving oneself to be something else and more of a romantic adventure. While Rules for a Rogue was about two people learning who they are in their new lives (which is still pertinent here), A Study in Scoundrels takes us on an actual adventure.
Like Kit who proceeded him (our hero from Rules for a Rogue), Jasper is running from the trappings of societal responsibility and is doing so in epic fashion: women, illicit substances, and living the life of an actor. However, very quickly he receives a kick in the pants when his sister goes missing and he has to set out on her trail to rescue her from a potential reputation damaging decision. He has to, at least temporarily, give up his vices to walk nearer the line of respectability (although it is QUITE the struggle). Sophia we got to know a little in the first book of this series and at that time she came across as the rule follower in the family. Her father published the book on female decorum and Sophia epitomizes it, or so she would let people think. Secretly she is working on writing her own female detective story and throws herself in to helping Jasper Grey in solving this real-life mystery. However, this puts her actions at odds with her reputation.
These two were quite entertaining together and were always able to just push the right buttons to keep each other on edge. Being a rogue, Jasper is enchanted with Sophia from the first time they are reacquainted with each other. Sophia is taken with him too, but she is not willing to just succumb to him, there are too many of those rules that she learned to deal with first. Their scenes were always balanced with the right amount of wit to build their characters and relationship as well as continue to push to plot forward.
I very much enjoyed this second novel from Carlyle and would certainly pick up the next that comes out!...more