The Season

The Season

4.4 187
by Sarah MacLean
     
 

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Seventeen year old Lady Alexandra is strong-willed and sharp-tongued -- in a house full of older brothers and their friends, she had to learn to hold her own. Not the best makings for an aristocratic lady in Regency London. Yet her mother still dreams of marrying Alex off to someone safe, respectable, and wealthy. But between ball gown fittings, dances, and dinner… See more details below

Overview

Seventeen year old Lady Alexandra is strong-willed and sharp-tongued -- in a house full of older brothers and their friends, she had to learn to hold her own. Not the best makings for an aristocratic lady in Regency London. Yet her mother still dreams of marrying Alex off to someone safe, respectable, and wealthy. But between ball gown fittings, dances, and dinner parties, Alex, along with her two best friends, Ella and Vivi, manages to get herself into what may be her biggest scrape yet.

When the Earl of Blackmoor is mysteriously killed, Alex decides to help his son, the brooding and devilishly handsome Gavin, uncover the truth. But will Alex's heart be stolen in the process? In an adventure brimming with espionage, murder, and other clandestine affairs, who could possibly have time to worry about finding a husband? Romance abounds as this year's season begins!

Praise for THE SEASON:

"[T]he novel is grounded in both historical context . . . and historical detail . . . which set the scene convincingly. MacLean's lively character . . . provide a fun and unrestrained take on a buttoned-up era, and readers who choose to give themselves up to the tale will enjoy it." --KIRKUS REVIEWS

"Clever conversation in the spirit of Jane Austen makes this quite a page turner." --PUBLISHERS WEEKLY

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

In Regency London, Alexandra is about to embark on her first season of balls and dinners, and while nothing "would steer her mother from the course of marrying off her only daughter," 17-year-old Alex is put off by men's seeming lack of interest in women with "any amount" of intelligence ("Evidently, it scares eligible gentlemen off"). Her opinions about romance change when she develops feelings for her brothers' friend Gavin, who is mourning the sudden death of his father (making Gavin the new earl of Blackmoor). Mac-Lean's debut is well paced, and as readers fill up on descriptions of dresses and society's rules, another plot line develops: Alex overhears a conversation proving that Gavin's father was murdered, and she puts her relationship, reputation and life in danger to help him. Readers will appreciate the clique lit/historical romance hybrid: headstrong Alex rolls her eyes and gossips with friends, but still knows the steps to the quadrille. Clever conversation in the spirit of Jane Austen makes this quite a page turner. Ages 12-up. (Mar.)

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Children's Literature - Naomi Butler
Lady Alexandria Stafford shows no interest in the balls and parties of the 19th-century London scene. Being strong-willed and sharp-tongued and not liking the fittings and the balls, she doesn't fit in because she is much more interested in romance and travel. Between balls, parties and country weekends with her two best friends, Ella and Vivi, she manages to get entangled in scrapes, espionage, murder, and suspicion. She and the handsome Gavin uncover the mystery and truth of the death of the Earl of Blackmoor who is killed in a puzzling accident. This year will be unforgettable. The story is set against a background of world events and the life at the time. There is romance and danger and the relationship growth between Alex and Gavin. The time period is well portrayed, allowing the reader to understand the settings. The book has a lovely cover and nice inside print. However, the cover could be interpreted as a modern-day dress-up affair instead of the period in which it is set. Reviewer: Naomi Butler
VOYA - Amy S. Pattee
In April 1815, seventeen-year-old Lady Alexandra Stafford is reluctantly preparing for her informal debut into London society. The spring and summer months, known as "the season," both irritate and excite Alex and her best friends, Lady Vivian "Vivi" Markwell and Lady Eleanor "Ella" Redburn, all of whom are reluctant to, as Alex wryly notes, be paraded before the bachelors of society "like livestock going to market." When the father of family friend and companion to Alex's three older brothers Lord Gavin Blackmoor dies in a riding accident, Gavin, Alex, her brothers, and her girlfriends become convinced that the death was murder. An element of mystery sneaks into and motivates what is, first and foremost, a period romance. Although neither Vivi nor Ella find romance during the season, Alex's involvement with Gavin's mystery leads to complicated emotion on both sides. Fans of the romance genre will enjoy the titillation engendered by society rules that disallow Alex and Gavin to date or hook up in the contemporary sense. These same social mandates ensure that the characters remain chaste—there are threats of ruination—and it is this imposed chastity that makes Alex and Gavin's stolen kisses sweeter. MacLean's novel, the first in what may become a series, can stand beside its American cousins, the books in Anna Godberson's Luxe series, on library shelves. Reviewer: Amy S. Pattee
School Library Journal

Gr 9 Up

The year is 1815, and 17-year-old Lady Alexandra Stafford is out in society for her first London season: a long sequence of parties where debutantes are paraded in front of eligible bachelors, and finding a husband is of utmost importance. But Alex is an unconventional woman, and this world does not interest her. She prefers independence, despises the thought of an arranged marriage, and hopes to foil her mother's plans to find her a rich husband. Then a family friend, Gavin, the new Earl of Blackmoor, whom Alex had always thought of as a brother, arrives on the scene, and she suddenly realizes that he is not looking at her with brotherly affection. Unfortunately, he is distracted from romance by the suspicion that his father had been murdered. The attempt to solve the mystery of his death places Gavin and Alex in mortal peril. The author excels in her depiction of 19th-century England-the dialogue in the society scenes is spot-on. Alex's character is well developed; however, too many supplemental characters make it difficult to get to know them well. The love scenes between Alex and Gavin are fun and romantic, but too modern to be authentic. Readers of Jane Austen will find elements of this story too anachronistic, but fans of the movies of her novels and light historical romances will enjoy this book.-Heather M. Campbell, formerly at Philip S. Miller Library, Castle Rock, CO

Kirkus Reviews
Jane Austen meets Trixie Belden. Lady Alexandra Stoddard is an anachronism-a feisty, outspoken feminist in Regency England. But the 17-year-old's impassioned resistance to courtship and marriage rings false from page 23, with the introduction of the ploddingly obvious object of her reluctant but inevitable affections, her brothers' best friend Gavin Sewell, the Earl of Blackmoor. Alex's insatiable curiosity further complicates her relationship with Gavin; suspecting that he's in danger, she's determined to solve the puzzle of his father's recent suspicious death, despite Gavin's objections. Formulaic plotting, repetitive phrasing and scant development of supporting characters, such as Alex's rival Penelope, weaken the story. But the novel is grounded in both historical context (Napoleon's escape from Elba and the anonymous publication of Austen's novels) and historical detail (ball gowns and the rigors of etiquette), which set the scene convincingly. MacLean's lively characters, however improbable, provide a fun and unrestrained take on a buttoned-up era, and readers who choose to give themselves up to the tale will enjoy it. (Mystery/historical fiction. 12 & up)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780545242141
Publisher:
Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
01/01/2009
Pages:
345

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