“Someone to Trust – A Westcott Novel” by Mary Balogh

Someone to Trust (A Westcott Novel)

I like the occasional work of romantic historical fiction, but this book was pretty silly. The outcome was preordained, so I jumped over a number of chapters. The best thing about it was the sheer “soap opera” character of plot twists – long lost relatives, secret marriages, extravagantly eccentric relatives…

What I can’t figure out is why a tired literary trope can work so well for one author and so poorly for another. The trope in question is as follows: woman becomes engaged to the wrong man for bad though “understandable” reasons, and getting out of the engagement is hard.

In Someone to Trust, this plot twist came across as an effort to make the book longer before arriving at an obvious conclusion.

In The Chilbury Ladies Choir by Jennifer Ryan (see my blog entry dated February 4, 2019), the misjudged engagement seemed like a natural part of the struggles of a woman facing complex choices in a challenging, wartime setting. Maybe the difference was just having a much better developed set of characters.

I didn’t go back to read the chapters of Someone to Trust that I skipped. I didn’t enjoy this novel. Find something else to divert you during your next long train ride.


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