A new take on Jane Austen…set in Regency England with a protagonist who reads Jane Austen? Okay…I’ll bite. I first came across this book when it was offered as part of the Book of the Month YA subscription which no longer exists, and I of course put off reading it for months, but I finally did! Unfortunately, I also read it after watching/reading Bridgerton/The Duke and I and overall, I found this book just FINE. Three stars, nothing special, nothing terrible.
Early 1800s, England, here we go! Victoria (Vicky) Aston is a well-off girl, the son of the Lord and Lady of Oakbridge, and she’s just coasting along in her life, enjoying learning about estate management, etc, but then her married sister returns home from an abusive situation and suddenly, Victoria must marry quickly to assure the estate does not fall into the hands of her dastardly brother-in-law. Plus, her childhood best friend has returned to his neighboring estate and that will throw a wrinkle in her plans! But then, weird accidents begin happening to Vicky and her family and she has to figure out who she can trust, who she should marry, and how she’ll decide how to balance her family obligations with her heart.
Overall, I would say I was just “whelmed” by this book. It was kind of long for a YA book of its sort–420 pages or so–but jumped back and forth between perspectives within chapters quite a bit. Vicky was a perfectly fine character–very Austenian in that she had some flaws but they weren’t egregious, and she was of course desirable in the nice ways. The male characters were all “eh” for me–just fine, typical fictional men of the time, certainly no Duke of Hastings…
This book was fine, just 3 Stars. Nothing great, nothing terrible. I wouldn’t recommend it on merits alone, but might recommend it to people wanting more Austen-esque books in their lives.