Christmas Awards 2011

Friday, 7 March 2008

The Absent Wife



ISBN 978-0-7090-8367-2.

The story opens in the evening of January 1811 at a small and select dinner party of four. There should have been six, but the much talked about Lord Atherton and his missing wife, were not at the table. Present were Lord and Lady Elgin, the host and hostess and two friends being Lord Owen Meredith and his niece Miss Roslyn Meredith. Lord Owen Meredith was a well-known society painter and his recently orphaned niece was now residing with him. He was a very busy and popular painter but money ran through his fingers like quick –silver so he was nearly always broke, and his investments were usually a disaster. He was however a very happy and optimistic character who believed that something would turn up, eventually.
The disappearance of Lady Atherton was the talk of Mayfair but had not been mentioned at the dinner party, so far.
Lord Atherton had married the very beautiful but heartless Vanessa, who had taken the ton by storm. She collected a large following of admirers, but Lord Atherton had been the only admirer to ask for her hand in marriage. It was widely believed that he was madly in love with her, but unfortunately that love was not reciprocated. Vanessa had reasons of her own for agreeing to be his wife and it had to do with Benedict Courtenay, a very handsome rake who was always outrunning the duns. However when she disappeared Courtenay was still to be seen everywhere, so it was reasoned that they could not be together and many rumours were banded about. Lord Atherton remained completely silent on his wife’s disappearance and he left England bound for where?
Lord Owen and his niece were about to leave on a visit to Greece, although despite his busy life lord Owen was completely broke and he had been reduced to selling some of his possessions to keep the bailiffs away. However Lord Elgin had advised him on some investments, which should restore Lord Owen’s fortune, when they returned from Greece.
The journey in Greece proved to be a wonderful experience for Roslyn. There are some very colourful descriptions of the scenery in Greece, which transport you there. Roslyn also meets the much talked about Lord James Atherton and is very disappointed in him; he was rude and arrogant, not at all as she had imagined him to be. Her Uncle is puzzled as it is not the James Atherton he remembers. However the story has a twists and turns which unfold gradually and make a very good read. Do read the book and enjoy its journey through several people’s lives, as I have.
I award these book 4 roses. AS

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