The Garden Intrigue (Pink Carnation Series #9)

The Garden Intrigue (Pink Carnation Series #9)

by Lauren Willig
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Overview

The Garden Intrigue (Pink Carnation Series #9) by Lauren Willig

Lauren Willig's Pink Carnation novels have been called "fun [and] fresh" (Kirkus Reviews) and "clever and playful " (Detroit Free Press). Now she introduces readers to a mismatched pair who find passion in the most astonishing of places...
Secret agent Augustus Whittlesby has spent a decade undercover in France, posing as an insufferably bad poet. The French surveillance officers can’t bear to read his work closely enough to recognize the information drowned in a sea of verbiage.

New York-born Emma Morris Delagardie is a thorn in Augustus’s side. An old school friend of Napoleon’s stepdaughter, she came to France with her uncle, eloped with a Frenchman, and has been rattling around the salons of Paris ever since. Now widowed, she entertains herself by holding a weekly salon, and loudly critiquing Augustus’s poetry.

As Napoleon pursues his plans for the invasion of England, Whittlesby hears of a top-secret device to be demonstrated at a house party. The catch? The only way in is with Emma, who has been asked to write a masque for the weekend’s entertainment. In this complicated masque within a masque, nothing goes quite as scripted—especially Augustus’s unexpected feelings for Emma.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781101560334
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 02/16/2012
Series: Pink Carnation Series , #9
Sold by: Penguin Group
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 448
Sales rank: 207,925
File size: 878 KB
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

The author of eight previous Pink Carnation novels, Lauren Willig received a graduate degree in English history from Harvard University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School, though she now writes full-time.

Hometown:

New York, New York and Cambridge, Massachusetts

Date of Birth:

March 28, 1977

Place of Birth:

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Education:

B.A., Yale University, 1999; M.A., Harvard University, 2001

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher


“Readers will be pleased to see the spy who inspired the series in action and will enjoy the charming, witty rapport between Augustus and Emma.”
-Booklist

Reading Group Guide

INTRODUCTION

In the ninth installment of Lauren Willig’s bestselling Pink Carnation series, an atrocious poet teams up with an American widow to prevent Napoleon’s invasion of England.

Secret agent Augustus Whittlesby has spent a decade undercover in France, posing as an insufferably bad poet. The French surveillance officers can’t bear to read his work closely enough to recognize the information drowned in a sea of verbiage.

New York–born Emma Morris Delagardie is a thorn in Augustus’s side. An old school friend of Napoleon’s stepdaughter, she came to France with her uncle, the American envoy; eloped with a Frenchman; and has been rattling around the salons of Paris ever since. Widowed for four years, she entertains herself by drinking too much champagne, holding a weekly salon, and loudly critiquing Augustus’s poetry.

As Napoleon pursues his plans for the invasion of England, Whittlesby hears of a top–secret device to be demonstrated at a house party at Malmaison. The catch? The only way in is with Emma, who has been asked to write a masque for the weekend’s entertainment.

Emma is at a crossroads: Should she return to the States or remain in France? She’ll do anything to postpone the decision–even if it means teaming up with that silly poet Whittlesby to write a masque for Bonaparte’s house party. But each soon learns that surface appearances are misleading. In this complicated masque within a masque, nothing goes quite as scripted– especially Augustus’s feelings for Emma.

ABOUT LAUREN WILLIG

Lauren Willig is a law student and Ph.D. candidate in history at Harvard University. She is the author of The Secret History of the Pink Carnation.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

  • What was your first impression of Emma Delagardie? How did your feelings toward her change throughout the story?
  • How are Emma and Eloise alike? How are they different? Do you think any of these differences arise from the social norms of their periods, and if so, which ones?
  • Discuss the differences in social etiquette in Paris and New York. Why does Emma feel more of an affinity to Paris? Why does she feel like she can’t return home?
  • How is the theme of loss addressed in The Garden Intrigue?
  • “He donned rhyme like armor, keeping her at bay. She could have told him he didn’t need to. She flirted without thinking. That was armor, too.” Discuss how various characters in The Garden Intrigue used spectacle and armor—and the forms their armor took—to conceal their true selves from society.
  • Did you know much about Napoleon’s court at Malmaison prior to reading The Garden Intrigue? What surprised you most?
  • Discuss the presence of past lovers in The Garden Intrigue. How did the characters behave themselves when they encountered one another? Would exes of today behave in a similar manner?
  • Compare Augustus Whittlesby’s relationships with Jane and Emma. What affected his choice in the end?
  • How might the course of history have changed if Napoleon had liked Robert Fulton’s invention?
  • “Women seldom fare well in printed history.” Do you feel this is true? If so (or not), who are some examples (counterexamples)?
  • Discuss the future of Colin and Eloise’s relationship. Do you think they will be able to stay together after Eloise leaves? Why or why not?
  • Is there really a Treasure of Berar? Do you think Colin and Eloise will find it before Jeremy does?
  • Customer Reviews

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews

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    The Garden Intrigue 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 30 reviews.
    firesidereader2 More than 1 year ago
    This, unfortunately, is not one of the author's best; in fact, I was pushing to get through it by about the middle. The main characters are just not that likable, and the plot didn't keep my interest. I really liked most of the earlier books, to perhaps varying degrees, but this one disappointed. Hope Ms. Willig gets her vibe back for the next one.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    I have greatly enjoyed this series but this book was not one of the best. The modern storyline is feeling pretty forced at this point while the historical storyline in this one is just kind of flat. I hate to say this because I do love the series but I'm starting to worry it has jumped the shark.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Willig always delivers fun, romance, and a dash of spy, writing with intelligence and depth.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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    Jane_tx More than 1 year ago
    The 9th book of the Pink Carnation Series was great just as the previous books. I was disappointed it did not cover more of Eloise and Colin and more of the time Augustus and Emma spent together. I didn't understand how Augustus in love with Jane could so quickly realize he had feelings for Emma even if he does come to understand later what he felt for Jane was not love. Regardless I love it.
    FolkloverAK More than 1 year ago
    I just finished Lauren Willigs' newest in the Carnation Series "The Garden Intrigue" I loved it! I thought the plot was great, even though I had my reservations when I first read the synopsis, it seemed a little weird; however I always by Laurens books and am never disappointed. My only drawback in the whole book was that we didn't actually have much insight to the month Augustus and Emma spent writing the play. Also it was an extremely fast switch of affections from Jane (the Pink Carnation) to Emma which left my head spinning. It was hard for me to grasp that they were really that in love as a result. But I still really enjoyed it and will probably read it again, just as I reread all of her books on a regular basis.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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    MollyzReviewz More than 1 year ago
    I'm strongly addicted to Lauren Willig's work. She's super talented and each of her Pink Carnation books holds something new and excited that will keep the reader hooked from start to finish. Having read all her other Pink Carnation books, I totally could not wait for this book to release. So, when the chance came up to read it, WOW! I was definitely NOT disappointed and swept away once again to the land of Lauren Willig's fantabulous characters and plot lines. This is most definitely one of the BEST historical novels that is blended with the PERFECT amount of spies and adventure! I loved Emma's character. She's a widow living in France, and her friends are Jane and Hortense (oh the poor dear! LoL!). Hortense's father, rather step-father-none other than the famed Napolean Bonaparte, enlists Emma in a job.....a job of writing a masque for Napolean's party. So, Emma's on a hunt for help, and she crosses paths with none of the fabulous Augustus Whittlesby. Now, Augustus Whittlesby has a teensie little problem....he's the world's WORST poet! Oy vay! The indignity of it! The poor man should NOT be allowed to construct poems! But, you see, he has an ulterior motive. He's a spy....a secret spy with the Pink Carnations, and he's out to catch what Napolean Bonaparte is TRULY up to with this party. And what a wonderful spy he is! Watching Emma and Augustus's growing attraction for each other was awesome! There were laugh out loud moments and few, "are you kidding me?!" moments that will not be forgotten! The wonderful characters from the Pink Carnation series are back in this wonderful new installment I loved seeing Jane Wooliston again (poor Augustus has pined for her-until Ms. Emma Delgardie enters his life!) and Gwen Meadows. I definitely recommend this newest installment with the highest of 5 Books ratings! It's worthy, of course, of more, however. Ms. Willig created this novel with wit, charm, and suspense, leaving the reader a little breathless at the end, as another Pink Carnation case comes to an end. Like her others, however, she leaves the reader hanging just enough to know that the Carnations WILL be back with yet another fabulous story and I absolutely can NOT wait!!! If you're new to this series, do despair! This can be read as a stand alone as Ms. Willig does a greatastic job at keeping the reader up to date on the past points of the series. And, if you're familiar with the Pink Carnations, well, don't just sit there! GRAB YOUR COPY NOW!!! Well done, Ms. Willig! This review originated at Reviews By Molly in part with a blog tour.
    csingh More than 1 year ago
    If you didn't already know, Lauren Willig is an amazing writer. I've been a huge fan of hers since her first book came out in 2005. Her books pack a powerful punch and contain some of my most favorite elements; romance, history, and intrigue, not specifically in that order. The Garden Intrigue is no different. Augustus Whittlesby has been in deep undercover in France for over a decade. He's been there for so long, he's no longer considered as a threat to Napoleon. After all he is a poet, and a very bad one at that. No one thinks him capable of such treachery. Instead, they all laugh at his horrible prose and him. The only one who challenges him is Emma Delgardie. She never lets him fully worship his Cytherea, the fair Ms.Jane Wooliston. It's only when Augustus is forced to spend time with Emma when he needs to get an invite to Malmaison where Napoleon is going to test out his secret weapon that will allow him to invade England, that either of them realize that the other is not what they seem. Meanwhile Eloise and Colin are trying to weather the invasion of Selwick Hall by inconsiderate movie people, all while Eloise is trying to figure out her next step. She's been offered a plush teaching job back home and she doesn't know what to do. Plus someone has been going through her files and e-mails, and lots of unwanted people are roaming the house. The book flows well and quickly and I found that I could not put it down until I had finished it. I was left wanting to know more. Especially as Ms.Willig left off just as Eloise and Colin reached some serious conclusions and a treasure search is/will be in progress! Unfortunately, I'll probably waiting for close to another year to find out!
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    kaosrules More than 1 year ago
    Lauren Willig has done it again! Her latest novel, “The Garden Intrigue” is a continuation of the popular Pink Carnation series. And, it's one of her best! This adventurous spy tale is set in 1804. Our heroine is New York born Emma Delgardie and she is living in Paris, France. As a young widow, Emma enjoys the Paris salons and an intimacy with Napoleon Bonaparte’s inner circle. Her two best friends include Hortense,(Napoleon’s step daughter) and Jane (who is the Pink Carnation). Emma is commissioned by Napoleon to write a masque for his next party at Malmaison. Our hero is poet Augustus Whittlesby. His verse is intentionally awful. So awful that it makes his audience and censors cringe. The puky poetry provides the cover he needs to succeed as England’s undercover agent. Augustus’ current assignment is to steal blueprints for a top secret naval invention. He must smuggle them out of France and get them to London Headquarters. Fast. However, he can’t get an invitation to Malmaison and the plans without Emma’s assistance. Augustus can’t tell Emma what he needs or how he really feels about her, or can he? Ms. Willig does a superb job telling this charming story. She doesn’t take the easy way out and use misunderstandings or clichés to further the plot. She does use humor, romance, and well developed characters to make “The Garden Intrigue” a delightful read. This book can be read as a stand alone.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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    wmugirl99 More than 1 year ago
    Lauren Willig's newest book in the Pink Carnation series, The Garden Intrigue, is an excellent continuation of a fascinating story. Willig keeps the series fresh, as always, with a hero and heroine unlike those of the previous eight books. The modern love story that frames the historical ones moves along wonderfully in The Garden Intrigue -- I'm still swooning. This is an engaging, enjoyable, un-put-downable book from one of the most talented writers of the 21st century.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago