Charlotte Withersby enjoys studying plants and flowers more than she likes concerning herself with the fashions of society or making small talk over social gatherings. Only women in nineteenth century England are meant for one thing and one thing only: marriage. So when a botany correspondent of her father’s, Edward Trimble, appears on their doorstep eager to assist her father in his work, Charlotte’s uncle sees this as a perfect opportunity to thrust her into society to find a husband. Determined to only endure it for as long as it takes to rid of Edward, Charlotte focuses her attention on the confounding fashion and inexplicable expectations of a world quite unknown to her. She thinks that her father’s dependence on her work will soon have him begging for her return, but soon her plan backfires and she suddenly finds herself in uncharted waters, thinking that perhaps what she thought she wanted is not what she wanted at all.
Siri Mitchell’s books are always so endearing because she creates characters that are quirky, real, and instantly loveable. Charlotte is no exception. She is smart but also unsure how to handle the basic rules of polite society, creating humorous and delightful scenes. I am always very impressed with Ms. Mitchell’s ability to also weave unique parts of history into her novels and do such a fantastic job of capturing not only historical facts, but also the mindset of the time period. This particular story flows well and captures interest immediately, the first person narrative giving a great glimpse into Charlotte’s thoughts and feelings. One disappointment with this novel is that I did not feel like I got to know Edward very well, which I think could have contributed substantially to the story. Overall, however, this novel is greatly enjoyable and highly recommended.
I received a copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review.