Friday, May 1, 2009

The Secret Diaries of Miss Miranda Cheever

Yesterday I saw a book on the table at home, and I picked it up to read. It was a thin book, with fairly large print, called The Secret Diaries of Miss Miranda Cheever by Julia Quinn. At first glance, it's a chick book, no questions asked. It's set in Britain in the 1800's. Miranda is a quiet country girl, who at the age of ten, is smitten by her best friend's brother. She is not traditionally beautiful (this fact is mentioned throughout the book), having a long face, huge brown eyes, 'big' lips (as Fiona Bennett told her), brown hair and very long legs which is direct contrast to her best friend, Olivia, who is obviously beautiful. Mr. Turner, her friend's brother, is eight years her senior and he was very kind to her. Nine years later, Miranda meets the object of her affection, who is now an embittered widower and the dynamic between them begins to change.
I personally thought the book very simple and well-written. The story is told from both Miranda's and Mr. Turner's points of view. I was thankful that the vocabulary was not over my head, despite the time in which the story was set. The way of the world at that time was very different with regards to how gentlemen behaved, women and marriage were viewed, and implications of particular actions on a person's reputation. I thought the story witty, since Miranda had quite a sharp tongue and had no qualms about using it to express her opinion when Mr. Turner pissed her off and he regularly did such a thing. She was not afraid to stand up for something she saw as wrong and she was willing to fight, despite her quiet demeanor.
All in all, a good book for light reading. This book will make you smile.

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