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The White Dove
Rosie Thomas
Lakota Surrender
Karen Kay
Habits of the House - Fay Weldon London, 1899. The Earl of Dilbert finds himself in a huge financial pickle, and the only way out is to get his son Arthur married to a wealthy heiress ASAP. There not being any available prospects on their side of the pond, they reel in Minnie O'Brien, daughter of a wealthy Chicago meat packer. Minnie's got a few skeletons in her closet, and her reputation is so badly damaged in America she's come to England to buy herself better prospects. Oh, and Minnie's mother has a few skeletons of her own (it's a doozy), but then, so does Arthur (he's keeping a mistress on the side and he'd rather marry the mistress and not the heiress).Confused? Don't worry, this one is so filled with fluff and air you'll breeze through it in no time. Large font, generous spacing and extremely short chapters make these pages fly by, and if the next two in this trilogy are like this I'd guess they could have been packed into one largish volume instead of the three being published. But then that cuts into sales...I am not familiar with this author, but according to the blurb she's written quite a few other books, along with being a playwright and screenwriter (I smell a mini-series coming off of this). My guess (and it's only a guess), is that this isn't one of those novels that's been banging around in the author's head begging to be put to pen and paper, instead perhaps the publishers noticed how popular Downton Abbey is and sought out Weldon with a planned trilogy? Hmmm? While not a bad book by any means, this one was just too light and airy and filled with empty-headed, shallow, self-serving characters. There wasn't one to root for anywhere, not even Isobel's long-suffering maid Grace. Still, I suspect this trilogy will be a huge hit for those looking for a Downton Abbey fix.