Amy's Reviews > A Lady of High Regard

A Lady of High Regard by Tracie Peterson
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Nov 04, 2011

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bookshelves: college
Read on November 04, 2011

If Jane Austen's Emma had taken place just before the Civil War, it might have looked something like this. In fact, most of the plot is straight-out-Emma, from the "older" love interest to the match making heroine to the "romantic conflict" of misunderstandings and mistaken engagments.
Mia Stanley, our heroine extraordinaire, was actually not that bad. Annoying, yes. Perfect? No, she is to obnoxious. And by that I mean this young lady, who is SO beautiful and unconscioiusly attractive and appealing to everyone, is an idiot. She's constantly doing stupid stuff, like confronting the completely evil bad guy with a "if I don't come out in ten minutes..." for backup. Didn't get much of her as a "matchmaker" though the book keeps making continual references to it.
Our dashing love interest, Garrett, was a lot like Mr. Knightley..and a lot not. His "falling in love" is everything I dislike about badly doen romances. Does he consider how Godly or funny or good housekeeper Mia is, and thus fall in love with her actual character? Well, you sort of get the idea he doesn't mind that she is a headstrong, self-willed, disobedient young lady. But no, mostly Garrett is "yearning to kiss her full, pouting lips" or "longing to lock her in his embrace"...
Which is pretty much all we get from him. Oh, he is pretty noble and thoughtful and has a temper to keep him from being perfect. Yeah. Mr Knightley still pwns.
The characters in this book are also very...politically correct. When they speak of the plight of the slaves, they seem to have a remarkable understanding in the slave's humanity. Don't get me wrong, I know people in the North and South spoke against slavery and that black people were human, but the nice, politically correct monolouge that gets perhaps a page about how there must be freedom for these human beings struck me as being a little to "modern."
That said, it was good to have something from this time in history that is about another group's struggle, the poor of the North. Fairly historically correct from what I know, the young ladies of this book seem to be quite "modern" in their opinions. Not badly, I mean, they aren't pressing for the right to vote or anything xD, but I still was struck by how passionate they seemed to feel about a subject that isn't often brought up till the turn of the century.
Another thing about the characters in this book...they talk to themselves! Like crazy people! Other characters are constantly saying "exuse me?" as Mia goes on this rant...out loud. Once or twice, okay, but it happened like every other chapter! I don't think these people are perfectly sane!
This book, as I said, is a lot like Emma...with more meladrama. Mia is involved in the poor sailer's wives, which is good, but hit quite a climatic, predictable, morbid ending. (view spoiler) The romance climax also seems to come to an abrupt and convenient conclusion (view spoiler)
Anyway, not a bad book, I gave it three stars after all, not my favorite. Hesitate to reccomend, because it really did waste my time, but if you like this sort of thing, go for it

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message 1: by (Jen) (new)

(Jen) The Artist Librarian Thanks for the review! I bought that trilogy thinking it was American colonial ("Ladies of Liberty") ... then I realized it wasn't. =P Good thing it was on sale --it's on my TBR shelf, always being bumped lower by other books ... I'll get around to it eventually. =)

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