Definitely a winner made even more so by the narration of Davina Porter!! The premise of this book is hilarious: a bunch of misfits gather together and with what little they have (and can steal) they thrive! And if their family members are embarrassed by it all, the better for it! The characters are delightful (plenty for future adventures as well). Enjoy.
I bought this after specifically searching for books narrated by Davina Porter & I loved it. It was sort of like Jane Austen but funny and I found myself laughing out loud at several parts. Davina Porter did an excellent job as usual, and although I had never read or listened to anything by Marion Chesney before, I will likely branch out into her other works - after finishing the rest of the Poor Relations series.
As others have noted, this book is a fluff piece -- short, easily digestible, fine for lolling on the couch at the end of a hard week. Davina Porter is delightful to listen to as always, and the writing draws you right in.
The story opens with a scene not atypical of the Regency era: a woman of good birth but small means, trying to keep her townhouse going with herself and just two servants without having to sell and retrench.
It's when she watches an elderly man faint in the park, and draws it out of him that he's faint from hunger, that we wander astray of Georgian conventions. She invites him to live in her house. True, they set about inviting every other poor relation that they can find in Hyde Park to live with them, too, and it's the collection of characters and the grand decision that they make to support themselves that drives the story, but that very act of inviting complete strangers of mixed genders to live with her tells us that Lady Fortescue is a character of modern sensibilities dressed in Regency costume.
This is the prime weakness of every book in the series: anachronisms abound. The events are anchored somewhere in the Regency, but customs and costumes are plucked from the Georgian, Victorian, and Edwardian eras with great liberality.
But do try to forgive all that and accept that this is a candy-like fluff piece of pseudo-Regency fantasy, farcical as a Gilbert and Sullivan operetta, because the characters are what make this series. Though a little puppet-like at times, especially when first introduced, the characters do flesh out into people that draw the reader's sympathy. Even when engaged in grand larceny, they delight us enough that we want them to succeed.
Each book in the series highlights one of the Poor Relations, for whom the series is named. Each has a romance (though not necessarily involving the poor relation), and each has a main plot aside from, but intertwined with, the romance. The outcomes are predictable, the good guys win, boy gets girl, but we get the fun of watching the characters overcome obstacles, often in creative ways, while knowing that their efforts will be rewarded in the end.
Good friend, cynical but thoughtful. Astute observer of the socio-political scene.
And I have listened to over 200! And I like MC Beaton! This book was dull and, to me, incomprehensible. I can't tell you what it was about because I simply could not follow the story. I tried to slog through to the end but honestly, life is too short. Awful, confused, unfocused, un-compelling and boring. Well narrated, though.
Custom jewelry designer who listens to books while she works.
This was a mediocre story, it felt like it might go somewhere but nothing particularly exciting happened, overall unsatisfying.
Try this is you are a Regency fan - much fun - the later books are much the same (as with many series) but if you are good with predictable, listen on!
The story had so much promise, but it just became silly. A few of the characters were unlikeable
Yes. She is terrific.
A good narrator cannot save a unbelievable,silly story.
Fan of mystery & romance -- particularly of historical persuasion!"
Cute series of books. Almost everything narrated by Davina Porter is a winner in my mind, and this is no exception!
This was a very pleasant surprise. A lovely new turn for M.C Beaton. It has become one of my new favorites and I will definitely listen to it again.
This is a comedy of manners, reminiscent of Oscar Wilde. Lots of humor through tears, lots of nice historical details.
The first meeting of Lady Fortescue and Colonel.
It is light, enjoyable reading at its best.
It has a terrific story, humorous, sprinkled with tidbits of history and customs of the times which I loved! I have avoided "Regency Romances" with their lurid book covers and rote story lines and I was very hesitant to buy this book - but the story premise was different, intriguing. Here is a story of the genteel poverty stricken protagonists, several of senior years. Hmmmm, how will that be played out? Now, there are young protagonists, too! And there is some genteel romance!. This is not a bodice ripper and if you want graphic sex then this is not for you. Rather, this is an exceedingly well crafted story with an original plot, engaging characters, a expose of mores and customs of the later 1700's and is a MUST read in my opinion.