July 10, 2007

all I’m asking is to be alive

Posted in books tagged , at 12:51 am by placeinthestars


I just reread Miss Whittier Makes a List, and even though Daniel is kind of a huge bastard to Hannah (and she’s so young, which kind of freaks me out now, just like in Marian’s Christmas Wish, Marian is only sixteen!), the ending hits all sorts of buttons for me, and I just cry and cry. He breaks the engagement for her own good! He’s putting her welfare ahead of his! He tells her he doesn’t love her, and it’s heartbreaking, but he’s lying! And she goes off believing she was mistaken, that he never loved her the way she loved him, and she tries to make a life for herself, until finally he comes back around and admits he does love her, but only after her mother tears him a new one.

This one is still not up in my top five Carla Kellys*, but the ending really works for me on that visceral, bulletproof narrative kink level.

*That would probably be, in no particular order: Mrs. Drew Plays Her Hand, The Wedding Journey, With This Ring, Miss Billings Treads the Boards, Miss Grimsley’s Oxford Career, and possibly Summer Campaign. I’m also quite fond of One Good Turn, which made up for the disappointment of Libby’s London Merchant. All of which have the power to make me sob like a little baby, which is something I go for in a story. Eucatastrophe, y’all. Actually, the only one of her books I’ve read and actively disliked is her latest, Beau Crusoe, which I found nearly unreadable, though the sisters’ reconciliation worked for me well enough that I remember it as a good thing from a book I really didn’t like at all.



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