D.G.'s Reviews > My Dearest Enemy

My Dearest Enemy by Connie Brockway
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Apr 20, 12

bookshelves: historical-romance, reviewed
Recommended to D.G. by: Ana
Read from April 17 to 19, 2012

Now I understand why there aren’t that many books with heroines as early feminists.

Although I could completely relate to Lilly and her vow to fight for women’s rights, I still found her very annoying. I know that I have to thank women like her for the liberties I enjoy today and I understand that a woman had to be very strong and forceful to go against the tide when everybody and their mother was against her. But even understanding all that, it was really tiresome how this heroine thought all men were fiends with no feelings, left on this earth to torture women. Every revelation that the hero was a person that could be hurt came as a surprise to her, like she’s never been around men (even though she had a loving father that was way ahead of his time.) I guess there’s just no way to present a heroine true to the period and make her less strident about the issue.

As I was reading this book, it reminded me of the courtship between Mary Wollstonecraft (author of A Vindication of the Rights of Woman) and philosopher William Godwin (their daughter, Mary Shelley is the author of Frankenstein.) He felt in love with her after reading Wollstonecraft’s Letters Written in Sweden, Norway, and Denmark (these chronicled her travels through these countries) even though when they met, they particularly didn’t like each other. Not exactly the same, but you would agree that there are certain similarities.

This book had a lot of lovely aspects: the letters which were funny and romantic, the hero’s job as an explorer and his insecurities because of the physical frailty of his youth. I couldn’t understand though why he didn’t seem to know exactly how to behave as a ‘gentleman’ even though he had attended public school like men of his station (which is where I assume they all get these notions.)

I was disappointed we didn’t get a resounding ‘YES’ from the heroine and that she didn’t eat a bit of crow after her cowardly behavior. I know it’s popular in romance, but choosing a big hurt today to avoid an unlikely bigger hurt tomorrow is just impractical. Regardless of what we believe, we don’t have any control over the future; all we have is today.

Overall, a unique romance with a sometimes grating heroine and a charming hero. Definitely worth the read if you are looking for a different sort of historical romance but just know that the heroine may get on your nerves.
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Reading Progress

04/17/2012 page 71
18.0% "Really enjoying this one so far."
04/18/2012 page 289
75.0% "I understand the heroine's reasons but still find her annoying."
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