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Monday, March 24, 2008

Jane and the Barque of Frailty

I know that I said that I'd review this sooner but I haven't been able to write because my mother was sick so I've been staying with her for a while and just haven't had time.

This JA 'amusement' was a pleasant surprise. I approached it with some trepidation, especially when I discovered that JA was the fictional narrator! However, Barron did an excellent job of portraying a very likeable and realistic Jane as well as writing a good story. The historical setting was well-researched and the Russian connection exotic.

In this novel Jane attempts to solve the reason for the death of the Russian Princess Cholikova, who has connections to the Tsar himself. Helped by her rather flighty cousin, Eliza, she has many adventures as she tries to answer the many questions involved. Did the Princess really commit suicide? Was she the victim of a nasty love triangle? Were political intrigues involved?

Jane also meets an interesting courtesan, Julia, who may have the solution. Her ill-treatment by men and attempt to remain independent by being the 'pet' of wealthy men provide a good contrast with Jane's easier and more sheltered, but less exciting, life.

As JA is my favourite author, I am going to read this series from the beginning!

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