This is book 4 in the Survivor’s Club series, and I have generally enjoyed the previous entries in this series. The tone of the books is very different from what I usually read, but I have been feeling pretty iffy in my reading lately, so when this popped up on my Overdrive holds I jumped at it. The series is about 7 survivors of the Napoleonic War who convalesced together and maintain their friendships to this day.
Agnes Keeping is a sensible widow but she has such an irreverent love and joy of life, that something about her just strikes me that as very mischievous and romantic in the back of her mind. And Flavian has a horrible past and a debilitating stutter, and of the group of Survivors, he has outwardly seemed the least affected. But as we’ve all surely learned, appearances are most deceiving.
I think what I found so very marvelous about this story, is that it presents a hero who chooses a lady who makes him feel safe. How wonderful and topsy-turvy that is. Yes, he was a dunderhead who didn’t know his own mind, and who didn’t say what he should have said when he should have said it. But Flavian wanting to be safe with Agnes just gave me a warm fuzzy feeling. Only Enchanting is absolutely correct, probably the most accurate title I’ve read in recent memory, though this is assuredly not the way the author intended it to be applied. And Agnes was simply so forthright about the whole awkward and tragic situation that you just can’t help but like her.
And here is the odd thing about this particular book, or maybe it is an odd thing about me, but, when I am reading a book, typically I just read the story and I am there with no real clear notice of whether or not I am reading dialogues, monologues, streams of conscious or whatever. I guess what I am trying to say is that my brain doesn’t typically care how the words are being translated into the story for me. But with this book, for some reason I was highly conscious of the dialogue. It was the most peculiar thing and it lasted for the entirety of the book and didn’t matter who was talking. And I don’t think it was the stutter, because Flavian’s speech seemed no more noticeable than anyone else’s
I have no clue what that will tell anyone else about the book, it was just the most notable thing for me.
So it was a perfectly delightful story with characters I enjoyed tremendously, but written in such a way that I was always very aware that I was reading a story. I felt a bit removed from it you could say. So I am struggling a bit with this rating. I enjoyed it immensely, and it was just the right book for the moment, but I don’t really think I will go back and re-read it either. So probably 3.5 stars is the most accurate for me.