4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: The Shuttle (Paperback)
This is a deeply satisfying read - there's a nice plot, and some really enjoyable bits of description, which don't get stuck in too much Victoriana. There are typical FHB motifs - the garden, hints about India, redemption, a heroine who is a princess but out of her usual kingdom. If you can suspend your disbelief enough to accommodate Vanderpoel father not finding out about his elder daughter for 12 years, and leaving it all to the "modern" Betty (who is even given something of a grounding in business thanks to her old dad, as well as access to more money than she would ever need), then it's a touching story of two sisters, the influence of American girls on the staid English, the defeating of a villain, the restoration of English country house splendour, and, of course, a nice old fashioned love story. I found it shared something with Henry James Portrait of a Lady (that is a much subtler and darker book, and this is not really a subtle book at all). There is however enough pace to keep one turning the pages and a gloriously melodramatic series of twists a the end. Ideal for cold evenings when there's nothing on TV.