Book Title: With This Ring
Author: Carla Kelly
Number of Pages: 290
Date: 25 April – 28 April 2016
Rating: 4.4 Stars
I wonder, sir, will you become mine, or am I the means to an end?
I don’t even know how buying this book happened. One moment I barely had time to read the books I already have and am currently reading, and the next I am two ebooks richer – the other one being Reforming Lord Ragsdale by the same author. (I can’t wait to start reading that one!)
And here’s why I had to have this book. Well, several reasons. First of all, the title. Obviously, “with this ring I thee wed”. …right? Second of all, the description. He has to find a wife and she has to somehow make him love her. Third of all, I tend to over-romanticise these situations. I think I could read thousands of book with the same and a similar plot and be happy with either an original or a repetitive end. Especially, when there is no cliché in there.
This novel was beyond wonderful considering all these aspects, and more. Also, there was social criticism, …
“I have it on good authority that [going to visit the wounded soldiers] is the high kick of fashion right now.”
(not that they were actually visiting, but cowardly gawking, while being utterly disgusted) …feminism, …
“Were such things not impossible, you would have made an eloquent advocate at the bar!”
…treatment of war veterans and treatment of human beings, …
“Do divulge your treatise delivered to soldiers and now wives.”
… “I would sit them down and tell them that I would never beat them, and that there was nothing we could not discuss.”
(this being a very positive to the other very negative examples in the novel) …self-reflection, …
I think I was never anyone before I was Mrs. Reed, she thought.
…and just a bit of Jane Austen, which had me laughing until I got used to it. Lydia and Kitty. The main characters name is Lydia. She is very responsible, she’s the older of two sisters, and at the beginning she has no self-confidence at all. Her father entirely lacks backbone. Her mother is overly engaged in finding a husband for her more beautiful second daughter, by the name of Kitty, who is annoyingly silly.
“You have no imagination. You never would have thought to faint, would you?”
Watching Lydia develop was probably the best part of the entire book. At first, I thought it a bit bumpy, too sudden, then too slow, but as the book developed, and I learned more about Lydia, all made much more sense. The circumstances were, probably, a bit coincidental, but I wasn’t bothered by that, neither did it bothered me that Sam seemed to develop such a good understanding of her even though he was often quite delirious by pain. I originally had a hard time understanding Lydia’s past, but I can certainly see her future now.
And that plot twist about the entire wife and baby lie!
This was an absolutely lovely, well-rounded (if only at the final page) read that I was very sad to let go of. I’m not saying that this one ended to soon, it was actually a pretty satisfying end, I just needed more Lydia and Sam in my life.
Idea: 4 Stars
Plot Development: 5 Stars
Pace: 5 Stars
Characters: 5 Stars
Quality of Writing: 4 Stars
Ease of Reading: 4 Stars
Insightfulness: 5 Stars
Cover/Photos/Illustrations: 3 Stars
Enjoyability/Personal Rating: 5 Stars
General Rating: 4 Stars