THE OTHER COUNTESS
I stayed up way too late to finish this one — but it was so worth it! Edwards has created a richly detailed historical world with lively characters. I loved the depth of character that she develops even in her more minor characters. Mature themes are handled gracefully and realistically, enhancing an exciting plot that was truly a pleasure to devour — I mean, read.
Ellie’s father is a devoted alchemist whose zeal for his work has left them poor and virtually homeless. Will’s father was consumed by his quest for gold and died after spending the family fortune on his obsession. Resentful but resigned, Will heads to court to find a wealthy bride — and collect the much-needed dowry she will come with. Although Will is quite aware of his duty to marry well, he can’t help falling in love with the intriguing and educated Ellie. Ellie knows Will’s duty to his family and his people comes first so she tries to be happy for her friend Jane — Will’s reluctantly chosen bride. Disaster strikes Ellie’s life and leaves all three reeling. Can any of them find happiness in love? (DELACORTE, Jul., 352 pp., $17.99, ISBN: 9780385740890, HC, 14 & Up)