Author: Mary Balogh
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Series: Survivors' Club, Bk 1
Length: 311 pages
Obtained: Library copy
Why this book?:
I had seen The Arrangement and thought it looked interesting, but this came first in the series.
Mary Balogh is a Canadian author (resides in Saskatchewan)! Which I didn't know (or at least didn't remember?) until I was putting this post together.
I enjoy historical romance in general. It tends to be light, fun reading with perhaps some emotionally intense scenes scattered throughout the odd book (not all of them, by any means). And in that sense, this book was no exception. They meet, they fall in love, there are obstacles and doubts, those are overcome, HEA.
Beyond that, I enjoyed the characters. Hugo and his fellow "Survivor" friends where all great. But this book sparked a special interest for me in Gwendoline's past.
Because her late husband was (and I apologize for SPOILERs here, but it's important to my thoughts and reactions) depressed. He had bouts of depression until he finally killed himself. Gwen repeatedly said he was "sick." And sad though this may be, why did it make an impression? As you may know if you've followed me or my blog for any length of time, my father is mentally ill and has actually attempted suicide a total of 4 times in the past two years (the most recent being in September). His illness is more than just depression (not that it isn't bad enough all on it's own), but I grew up hearing my ma say my dad is sick. She still loves him. But he's sick.
So I always have a special interest in books that address this. And the historical aspect, and the supportive spouse, all added to that. (You'd be amazed - or maybe you wouldn't - how many people over the years have suggested my ma leave my dad, or have him "put somewhere.") My apologies for the sensitive subject, but it's definitely a part of the story.
Anyway, since I read the second book in the series shortly after this one, I'm sure you can guess that I'm glad I read it, enjoyed it, and look forward to more by this author.