Indiscretion // by Jude Morgan


//published 2005//

I first read this absolutely delightful book two years ago, and enjoyed it so much that I purchased a copy soon after.  I decided that this would be a perfect vacation book to follow up The Blue Castle.  I was a bit apprehensive, though.  After enjoying Indiscretion so thoroughly, I read two others of Morgan’s books (An Accomplished Woman and A Little Folly), and, while perfectly fine reads, they lacked that magic that made Indiscretion so much fun.  And so, I worried as I approached this book for a second time.  Would it lack that indefinable something that makes a book just as lovely as the first time around?

All that worry was for nothing – Indiscretion won me over completely yet again.  The language is just perfect.  In many ways, it reminds me of a Wodehouse book – just that frothy, verging-on-nonsense dialogue (both external and internal) that had be laughing out loud at multiple points.  Morgan has the knack of describing characters perfectly without bothering to tell us much about their physical appearance (black hair, blue eyes, etc.) –

Her whole demeanour indeed was that of someone just awoken from a refreshing sleep but wondering whether to doze for another half-hour.

Or –

“Parties?  Oh – as to that, Miss Fanny, I am a dull fellow for parties in any event,’ Captain Brunton said; occasioning in Caroline a brief mental review, to see if there were any news that had ever surprised her less.

Caroline herself is a very relateable heroine, being just imperfect enough for me to emphasize with her thoroughly.  Her internal dialogue is not written in lengthy paragraphs, but rather brief little asides (like the one above), that give a glimpse into her true character.

For a better overview of the story, feel free to read my first review.  Suffice to say here, that I was reminded yet again that part of the reason I appreciate Caroline as a character is that I, too, worked as a paid companion for a very rich and very capricious old lady.  Thankfully, I didn’t have to live with her, but I ended up leaving the job as she wasn’t willing to let me switch days with Companion #2 so I could help out my ailing grandmother – needless to say, I felt that I had a strong understanding for Caroline’s position!

I think that one of the things that really struck me this time around is how many people thought that Caroline would be discontent in the country, living a quiet life.  I really liked how, actually, she thoroughly enjoyed it.  She didn’t get bored or pine away, and despite the fact that her relations were completely different from her in every way, she got along with them well and loved them dearly.

While Indiscretion is not a book that is likely to change your life, it is a wonderfully relaxing and humorous read, and one that I highly recommend.  5/5 the second time around also!