Thursday, June 16, 2011

An Unlikely Suitor - Nancy Moser

Synopsis from Secrets abound in this tale of three unlikely romances set in New York's Gilded Age--an uplifting story of true devotion and sacrificial love. Lucy Scarpelli, an Italian dressmaker from New York, befriends socialite Rowena Langdon as she's making her summer wardrobe. It's an unlikely friendship, but one that Rowena encourages by inviting Lucy to the family mansion in Newport, Rhode Island. Grateful for Lucy's skill in creating clothes that hide her physical injury, Rowena encourages Lucy to dream of a better future. One day Lucy encounters an intriguing man on the Cliff Walk, and love begins to blossom. Yet Lucy resists, for what man will accept her family responsibilities? Rowena also deals with love as she faces a worrisome arranged marriage to a wealthy heir. And Lucy's teenage sister, Sofia, takes up with a man of dubious character. All three women struggle as their lives, and those of each unlikely suitor, become intertwined in a web of secrets and sacrifice. Will any of them find true happiness?

I don’t know that “secrets” necessarily “abound” in this novel. But I did really enjoy the reading of it.

Parts of it were certainly predictable, but that made it cozy to read. I enjoyed Lucy’s character and the growth shown in both her and Rowena through their friendship and life circumstances.

I wanted to slap Lucy’s sister many times throughout the novel. Her character annoyed me with her childish ways and selfishness. Then again, I know many teenagers with similar attitudes. So Ms. Moser probably hit the mark with that character.

I didn’t like the end being so rushed (through the epilogue) and would have liked a little more “meat” near the end. And what happened to Sofia at the end? I don’t want to spoil it, but we know that Mrs. Scarpelli moves but we have no idea what Sofia does.

A pleasant book overall.

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