Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Shades of Milk and Honey...

9 similarities between this novel and the novels of Jane Austen:
  • One plain and level-headed older sister
  • One more impulsive and reckless younger sister
  • An entailed estate
  • A recently returned Navy captain
  • A secret engagement
  • The mention of Gothic novels, especially those written by Ann Radcliffe, and their deleterious effect on impressionable young ladies
  • A mother who's a hypochondriac
  • A dark and brooding gentleman
  • Several romantic entanglements and misunderstandings

And 1 notable difference:
  • Mary Robinette Kowal's characters can do magic, weaving artistic glamours with the ether to hide certain flaws, and to make their homes seem wealthier and their environments more beautiful.

This Regency romance revolves around Jane Ellsworth and her younger sister, Melody, and their quest to find husbands (although Jane, at 28, has pretty much resigned herself to remaining a spinster). Pretty Melody turns heads while plain Jane spins and folds the ether into skilled glamours. Enter the men:  the young and dashing Captain Henry Livingstone, their eligible neighbor, Mr. Dunkirk, and the artistic and mysterious Mr. Vincent. One of them is a scoundrel of the worst kind, but which one? What ensues is a light comedy of errors with romantic machinations and misadventures, magic and true love. I really liked Jane; Melody, on the other hand, was so selfish and contemptuous of her older sister that I mostly just wanted to slap her. (Jane is much more forgiving than I am.) There are a few twists in this book, but pretty predictable ones. I saw most of them coming. And while the antagonistic relationship between Jane and Mr. Vincent hardly rivals that of Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy, it does have its moments. So even with its flaws, Shades of Milk and Honey is a fun, light-hearted novel. In fact, I'd read Mary Robinette Kowal again, especially if she's writing about these characters.

Happy Reading!

Similar Reads:
   Bewitching Season by Marissa Doyle
   The Magicians and Mrs. Quent by Galen Beckett


  1. This sounds fun! I like how you outlined the similarities to Jane Austen's novels. :-) I will have to look for this one. Thanks, Lark!

    1. Any time! ;) Let me know how you like it if you get a chance to read it.

  2. I've never heard of this author but I like the sound of her books.

    1. I like the fun she had playing off of some of Jane Austen's plots. And I liked the magic, too. :)

  3. Yes, this one is put on the list, because it sounds absolutely delightful and fun. I never heard of this author before, so I am glad you reviewd this book.

    Kind regards,

    1. I think the author had a lot of fun writing it. I just checked out the second book and am hoping it's another good read. :)

  4. I have yet to read anything by Mary Robinette Kowal. I do have a story of hers - The Lady Astronaut of Mars, I think. I've heard great things about her.

    1. This is the only book of hers that I've read, but I did enjoy it enough to check the second one out from the library. The Lady Astronaut of Mars sounds interesting. :)