If Jane Austen and J.K. Rowling coauthored a book, they would write something like Bewitching Season . In this novel, seventeen-year-old twins Persephone (Persy) and Penelope (Pen) Leland are about to begin their first London season when their beloved and magical governess, Miss Allardyce, is kidnapped. The Lelands receive a note from Miss Allardyce explaining that she must tend to a family illness. The twins sense that the note is a cover story and start investigating her mysterious disappearance while in the midst of a whirlwind of balls, teas, and suitors.
The novel focuses on Persy, the twin who is more studious and less outgoing. Persy struggles with society’s expectations, self doubt and her feelings for Lochinvar–childhood tormentor turned perfect mate. A lot of the conflict in this novel is Austenesque: misunderstandings arise from lack of communication and the constraints of propriety. These conflicts are alternately frustrating and hilarious.
This novel was a light, fun read, combining two of my favorite genres: fantasy and historical fiction. One of the highlights is that author Marissa Doyle includes a young Queen Victoria as a likable and memorable character.
My best friend gave me this book on New Year’s Eve. I’ll be reading the sequel when she finishes it.
Finished: January 16, 2011