It's all her uncle's fault. For years Charlotte Withersby has been free to pursue her love of plants and flowers by assisting her botanist father. But now that she's reached the old age of twenty-two, an intrusive uncle has convinced her father that Charlotte's future--the only proper future for a woman--is to be a wife and mother, not a scholar.
Her father is so dependent on her assistance that Charlotte believes he'll soon change his mind...and then Edward Trimble shows up. A long-time botany correspondent in the South Pacific, Trimble arrives ready to step in as assistant so that Charlotte can step out into proper society--a world that baffles her with its unwritten rules, inexplicable expectations, and confounding fashion.
Things aren't perfectly smooth between Trimble and her father, so Charlotte hatches a last gasp plan. She'll pretend such an interest in marriage that the thought of losing her will make her father welcome her back. Only things go quickly awry, and she realizes that the one man who recognizes her intelligence is also the person she's most angry with: Edward Trimble, her supposed rival. Suddenly juggling more suitors than she knows what to do with, Charlotte is caught in a trap of her own making. Will she have no choice but to leave her beloved flowers behind?
This book is slow to get going,but once it does you do not want to put it down. The way Siri has written this book is perfect. Charlotte is a delightful main character, that you can't help but love and laugh at with what she says. It is easy to see why she makes so many mistakes in "polite company." She analyses everything that is said and done, and doesn't get the nuances of everyday people as she has led such a sheltered life.
Her poor father isn't much better at understanding the needs and wants of his daughter. The Admiral comes across as one type of person, but underneath all the pomp and ceremony he is a kind hearted man who loves his niece dearly.
There are a couple of laugh out loud moments and the ending is no surprise. What was a surprise though were all the do's and don'ts of what should or should not be done and what was considered proper in the mid-1800's. No wonder poor Charlotte got confused.
Stars out of 5 : 4 slow to get started, but by the time you have read three or four chapters you will start to get hooked on the book. Well worth the read.
"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group".