Sunday, May 18, 2008

Susan Wiggs "Charm School"

I so almost loved this book. In the eighties my favorite books were the heroines who stowed away on ships, where the crew came to love her because she's so genuine and nice, and finally the hero is shown the light of her gloriousness by how much the crew like her. Never mind the complete lack of any inappropriate advances by any of these PIRATES who've haven't seen a woman in five months. But I digress.

Charm school has the classic, wonderful, ugly duckling heroine. She's smart but a wall flower in a family of beautiful people. She runs away to sea with the unconventional southern captain, she gets some sun, becomes active and eats less, thereby losing some weight, and gains confidence by befriending every single crew member on the whole ship. The consummation is late in the book. It fit well with the storyline but I have noticed most books put it on page 3 these days, and I'm assuming there is some market research behind that decision. Anyway, I am a total sucker for these transformation storylines, I was even tolerant of some plot twists near the end that were a bit silly. BUT, when she starts into the "Why didn't I tell him I loved him. How could I not know I was in love with him." My snort-o-meter went off big time. This smart character would not have been thinking this drivel.

In the scope of a highly enjoyable book, this was a minor annoyance. And for those of you paying way too much attention to the rules I set down about this blog, yes it was published in 1999. I was snookered by the "re-issue." Usually I check for that but I missed this one and thank goodness I hadn't read it before.

Historical Romance 1999: 4 of 5 salty knaves.


Stewart said...

Something about the phrase "salty knave" seems wrong.... just wrong, I tell you.

Anonymous said...

I've got this one on my book shelf on the recommendation of Mrs. Wiggles. I'll move it up the TBR list now that one more person has given it the thumbs up. Thanks!