Publisher: St Martin’s
Publishing Date: 2004
Edith Lavery, an English blonde with large eyes and nice manners, is the daughter of an accountant and his social-climbing wife. When Charles, the Earl of Broughton, proposes marriage to her, she accepts. But is she in love with Charles, or with his wealth, his position, and all that goes along with them? When a television company, complete with a gorgeous leading man, descends on Broughton Hall to film a period drama, Edith must take the true measure of Charles, herself, and the aristocratic world she thought she was so eager to join.
Edith, a beautiful and kind English young woman, is introduced to the Earl of Broughton after touring Broughton Hall. Although not a social-climber herself, she is drawn to his lifestyle and the ways of his class. She agrees to marry him, but suddenly finds life dull. One day, when actors and a camera crew arrive on her doorstep, she is swept off her feet and begins to question her decisions.
While I found the social commentary amusing, intellectual, and informative, I had no invested interest in any of the characters. In fact, the commentary was more interesting than the plot. Fellowes, known for Gosford Park and Downton Abbey, is a brilliant story-teller, so I was taken aback when I found myself bored. Part of it could be Edith’s bland character, the nameless narrator’s creepily informed knowledge base, the double-meanings from the aristocrats, and Charles passionless expressions.
A neat insight on the English social class with a lackluster plot.