A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this is pretty clean fare. There are a few steamy kisses and a little wine drinking, but nothing that will raise modern eyebrows. The spirited protagonist questions her role in society -- which might inspire interested readers to try out other books about plucky girls from the olden days, such as Jane Austen's novels.
What's the story?
Alex is a rich girl being introduced to society in her first season of balls. But while her looks (and money) get her plenty of attention at these public events, she wishes someone would respect her for her brain. Just as she begins to realize her feelings for Blackmoor, a longtime family friend, she begins to unravel a mystery surrounding his father's recent death. As she gets closer to the truth, she quickly finds herself in serious danger -- of death AND of falling in love.
Is it any good?
This book has a lot going for it: fancy dresses, balls, formal dinners, romance -- and a murder mystery. Readers will appreciate the verbal sparring between Alex and Blackmoor and cheer when the made-for-each-other couple finally share some secret kisses.
The author does a good job of painting a realistic portrait of the historical times -- from extravagant fashion to fixed gender roles. She also gives her characters modern pluck -- so get ready for lots of eye rolling.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the protagonist, Alex. Would you be willing to trade your life for hers? You'd get to attend balls and wear fancy dresses, but your own mother would be trying to marry you off as quickly as possible. Also, think about Alex's statement to Blackmoor: "Men refuse to consider the possibility that women have their own opinions, their own character... Do you truly believe that those men will continue to court me when... they discover that I read the newspaper and enjoy discussing politics?" Is this statement still an accurate representation of how guys treat girls, or is it out of date?