Sometimes, it’s fun to revisit books I didn’t like at all. :-D Originally posted 27 June 2012 on tumblr.
by Eva Ibbotson
This story started well… good plot, interesting characters, although the story was, from the beginning, a bit heavy on the “all conservative people are total jerks who are blind and refuse to see the world as it is” malarkey. Still, things moved along, and the heroine, Harriet, runs away from the truly nasty people who comprise her home and joins a ballet troupe headed for the Amazon. (The story, by the way, is set in 1912.)
And again, things go along interestingly as you get to know a few of the other girls, and see what ballet means to different people, and of course you meet The Man with a Past and he is charming BUT at this point, the story begins to devolve into a very boring romance novel, in which the two main characters are constantly misunderstanding each other (to the point that you wonder HOW, in the long run, will this relationship work if they can’t even have a SINGLE conversation without both people walking away with completely different ideas of what just happened??), and then The Man has to kidnap Harriet to keep her from being kidnapped by someone else, and even though this book is no way graphic, suddenly the two of them are just sleeping together and that is somehow supposed to be romantic, but it’s not, because they STILL don’t understand each other, and so the idea of them sleeping together, besides the obvious, Hey, you aren’t married reflex, also makes you twitch because it’s just not romantic for two people to have sex when neither of them has the remotest idea what the other is thinking about the situation.
Then there are even MORE misunderstandings and MORE confusion and I really had to make myself finish this book because it got more and more unrealistic and ridiculous because Harriet ends up back in England where her father and aunt imprison her in an attic and keep all of her clothes so she can’t run away again and Harriet decides to just starve herself to death because she can’t go on living and when I was able to recover from stabbing myself in the eyes with pointy objects and continue reading, The Man finally rescues her and then, Oh happy ending they get married and all is well. Or something like that. Sheesh.
So yes. 2. Which is a shame, because, like I said, it started well.