It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single woman in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a husband. Read more...
It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single woman in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a husband. So say the friends and family of impoverished widow Octavia Darcy when she unexpectedly inherits a fortune, but she has a different view and looks forward to a new life of independence.
Escaping from the efforts of her half brothers and sisters to marry her off, Octavia goes to Yorkshire to find out more about the family she never knew, and while she is there she meets and crosses swords with landowner and politician Sholto Rutherford.
When she returns to London to share a house with the dashing Lady Susan, Octavia, now secure in her new life, becomes caught up in the romantic problems of her niece. Then, the shadow of George Warren, the old nemesis of the Darcy family, falls over her, and she is threatened with the loss of both inheritance and reputation.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page 45.
- Review Date: 2006-12-11
- Reviewer: Staff
Aston's latest novel (after The True Darcy Spirit) focuses on another woman in the tradition of Elizabeth Bennet, Octavia Melbury. Tall and outspoken, Octavia fails to find a husband in London and is dispatched to India, where she is to live with relatives. There, she marries Capt. Christopher Darcy, but their happy union is cut short when he dies from an insect bite. Christopher's spiteful cousin, George Warren, nabs the estate and leaves Octavia with a pittance. However, a surprise and sizable inheritance comes Octavia's way, and she travels back to England, where she keeps mum about her newfound fortune while her conniving half-sister Theodosia schemes to marry her off. Octavia takes a shine to her smart, headstrong niece, Penelope, who, in turn, fancies a man of lower stature than her mother will accept. Not so for Octavia, whose rocky repartee with Lord Sholto Rutherford matures, inevitably, into love. Meanwhile, George realizes Christopher's inheritance isn't as large as he had thought and plots to steal Octavia's fortune. Aston's villains may be one-note wicked, but the lengths to which their puerile greed sends them make for good reading. Fans of the series will enjoy this chronicle of reversals of fortune. (Mar.)