Ellen Sara
Ellen Sara asked Madeleine E. Robins:

This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)

Madeleine E. Robins You wouldn't believe how much sleep I lose over this! In fact, the impediments to their getting together have nothing to do with social class--Miss Tolerance is, whatever has happened to her, a gentleman's daughter, and Sir Walter is a gentleman (there was a far larger gap between Miss Tolerance and the Earl of Versellion).

The problem, really, lies in Sarah's own neuroses about her Fall, and her growing sense that she really likes her job, despite its danger and sometime sadness. She feels--deeply--something that wouldn't bother most of us these days: a profound sense of being damaged goods because of her past. She feels that marrying (and she's not going to be happy with anything less than marriage, anymore) would debase the reputation of a man she married; if she loves someone, how could she do that? And she may be able to get past that...she's principled, but not fanatical.

The larger issue is her status as a working woman in a field that would cause conflict of interest if she married a magistrate. There really were no models for working out this kind of dilemma in 1811. A woman of her social class (gentleman's daughter, remember?) rarely worked outside of marriage; the kinds of work she might do (painting, writing) were unlikely to be affected by what her husband does, and vice versa. But for a PI (which is pretty much what Sarah is) to marry a cop (which is sort of what Sir Walter is) causes all sorts of conflicts, as Sir Walter points out in The Sleeping Partner. Plus, I have some things planned for Miss T which would make such a marriage even more complicated...

Me, I want them to have a happily ever after. I'm not planning on introducing any other potential love interest. I just need to find a way--and a series of experiences that pave the way--that convinces me it would overwhelm Sarah's objections.

Good question. Thanks!

About Goodreads Q&A

Ask and answer questions about books!

You can pose questions to the Goodreads community with Reader Q&A, or ask your favorite author a question with Ask the Author.

See Featured Authors Answering Questions

Learn more