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Posted October 19, 2011
The Unworthy Make Great Reading
I loved this book, and mostly for the reasons that previous reviewers didn't. I SO enjoyed a modern-day heroine, Elizabeth, who was far from perfect. In historical novels heroines marry for money all the time--to save their family name or fortune, or to provide a home for a sibling or child. Ms. Robards not only moved this theme to contemporary life, she changed the outcome 180 degrees! Surprise! And the hero loves her truly, madly, deeply. For me and him, scrappy survivors are just as endearing in the 20th century as they are in the 19th. In a historical, a "capital error," that wrongheaded life choice that drives the story, is magically resolved by the rich and powerful or by the hand of fate. Remember Mr. Rochester telling Jane Eyre about his "capital error?" He made a raw deal in his marriage to a madwoman, and tried to fix it by tricking Jane into a bogus wedding. Yet we still love Eddie Rochester--that devilish wannabe bigamist, who is one of the premier romantic figures in literature, right up there with Mr. Darcy. Remember Fitzwilliam Darcy, the supercilious snob who insulted the delightful Elizabeth Bennet and her entire family, and punctured Jane's romance? He's still a rock star. Elizabeth Perkins is the female version, a protagonist whose ambition and deep-seated longing lead her into a huge mistake. She discovers, as many a foolish young person does, that she's not getting what she thought she wanted, and what she wanted is not worth doing what she has to do for it. She doesn't play the game like some suffering Sally who's lousy with self-sacrifice-she is playing to win. When the hand of fate steps in, the consequences are enormous and harrowing. So I like this survivor, just as I love Eddie and Fitz. As in real life, the unworthy sometimes get a chance to become worthy. And they make such good reading.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 15, 2001
I just loved Ms. Robards's stories. This one was no exception. The plot was fast-paced and the characters were enjoyable. It kept readers on and on. I certainly could not put it down until the very last page. A must read!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.