Page the Second


A fronte praecipitium a tergo lupi. (In front of you, a precipice. Behind you, wolves.)

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Review of Love Me Always

Love Me Always, by Marie Higgins is a sweet romance with a teaspoon of mystery tossed in.

I enjoyed reading this book. It was a book of contrasts. On one end is Catherine, a sweet young middle class girl from a dysfunctional home and on the other is Grant Fielding, a creepy well-to-do duke, old enough to be Catherine's father, who is raising three of his grown nephews. Catherine is a normal 19-year-old pitted against her crazy, controlling father and his equally controlling friend. It's a wonder she ended up with the right guy!

Usually in mysteries, I can guess the culprit within a few sentences, but this one surprised me. I guessed the identity of the murderer faultily, two times. Nobody seemed to have a clear motive except the two people I guessed wrongly.

I did, however, guess Uncle Grant's real intentions fairly early in the book. It was just too transparent not to. Despite Catherine's confusion about Grant, that part of the book seemed crystal to me.

I enjoyed the plot of this sweet little book. I enjoyed the delicious hints of insanity and intrigue. I wanted more closure, though. I wanted to know why Catherine's own father thought she was insane. He and his motives and reasoning needed to be developed a little better. Marie kept intimating that Sofia was thought crazy, but it was always unclear why. That should have been more clear.

More than that, I wanted to know what the villain's motive for murdering so many people was. Sure he thought they were evil, but there should have been some other all-powerful trigger. Instead, we never really know anything, other than that he thinks evil-doers need to be punished and knows his Bible.

I wanted to know what happened to Catherine's father after it was all over. Did she invite him to the wedding? Did he finally come to the knowledge that he had been drastically wrong? Repercussions?

The question of whether a person is completely sane or not has plagued people for years. In the late 1700's and 1800's the subject was coming to a head. People were being shipped off to newly installed mental institutions, often willy-nilly. A person could be dumped into an institution for incredibly spurious reasons including the hatred, greed, and/or ignorance of the person recommending it. Drug use was rising astronomically. Opiates were openly touted as panaceas for anything from unsettled nerves to mild indigestion, making a diagnosis of insanity an easy stretch.

I was amazed that Catherine got off as easily as she did with the insanity accusation. I would think she would have had an examination by at least one doctor, be he quack or otherwise, especially if her mother were suspected of being mad.

This book was a pleasant read. It would, however, have benefited by a better editor and a little more research on life in the 1800's. There are some instances when Marie used the wrong word or the characters did something uncharacteristic of a person in that time period.

I enjoyed the book and would be interested in reading more of Marie's books.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for a wonderful review! I knew my historical accuracy isn't 100%, but I believe I get the reader close enough to the era to make them feel like they are there. Right? I don't know why you thought I didn't tie up the story because I thought I did. I'll go back and look at it to see if I need to add a few more sentences to make the reader aware I'm tying up loose ends. :)

    THANKS for your review!