Monday, March 4, 2013

William & Lucy by Michael Brown

William & Lucy
Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance
Rating: 4 stars

A penniless poet struggles to keep him and his sister afloat in Britain during the Napoleonic Wars.  A young orphaned woman takes a position as a governess to two children whose father is entirely too friendly.  An agent for the crown is sent to a small town to investigate allegations of a traitor, maybe even a spy, posing as a poet. Their lives will intertwine to change one another permanently...

William Wordsworth isn't having a very good week.  His landlord is kicking him and his sister out, the local town bullies are after him, he's received news that he's being investigated by the crown and he's lost his muse.  Then he meets a young woman, Lucy Sims, and his words are able to flow forth again.  He needs to see her again.  But how can he try to win her heart when his whole world is so tumultuous?

18th Century England doesn't have many choices for orphaned 17 year old girls, but Lucy Sims is going to make it in the world.  She is going to be a governess until she is 18, then she is going to sell her paintings and take the world by surprise that a female has painted such wonderful landscapes.  But a stranger puts a kink in her plan when her heart falls for him.  And she may have to leave her position sooner than she expected if the Squire, the man whose children she teaches, doesn't stop his attempts to force her into his bed.

Geoffrey Walsh has been assigned to investigate William Wordsworth on the grounds of being rumored a French spy.  Walsh must come back with evidence that Wordsworth is a spy or his job is on the line.  Rumors are abounding, but without concrete evidence, he has nothing.  Is a job worth fabricating evidence to put a rumored spy on the gallows?

This book is so well written.  Considering that the topic of the book is one of the most famous British poets, the writing would have to be nothing short of beautiful, and it is.  Brown weaves this sweet, lovely love story while showing the (sometimes) awful conditions people lived with in the late 1700s.  Having known next to nothing about Wordsworth (honesly, all I knew was that he was a poet - I could tell you nothing else), I found this to be educational since it does include lines from his poetry.  The story is the author's imagining of what had happened to inspire Wordsworth's "Lucy" poems, and it is bitter sweet and touching.

But don't assume that the book isn't fast-paced.  The end in particular will have you turning the pages as the characters race to their destinies. There are bad guys a plenty, and even a Detective Javert type to break up the love story. 

I recommend this to anyone who enjoys an innocent love story with a twist and a good plot.

This book was provided to me by the publicist for my honest review.  Check it out here on Amazon

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