Thursday, June 5, 2008

THE CHARM SCHOOL by Susan Wiggs

Beacon Hill socialite, Isadora Peabody doesn't fit in with Boston society. Swan captain Ryan Calhoun, although from a good family, doesn't hold with society as a whole. Being friends with the owner of the Swan has its advantages. Isadora is permitted to sail on the Swan as its interpreter and to record all actions of its captain.

After much thought, I'm still trying to decide what my thoughts are concerning this book. When I saw the cover and read the blurb, I expected a lighthearted read with comical moments. I got that, but the book also had scattered attempts at depth.

The plot was good, although I could definitely feel a modern day bias. Toward the end of the book, there was a large section that appeared to be included to add pages and set up a sequel. This part of the storyline had been touched on earlier but only in passing.

The characters ran hot and cold. Isadora fluctuated between that of a woman coming into her own and being overly childish. This, I could almost understand. Ryan was garish and very unpleasant, yet showed sputters of charm. I never warmed up to his character, but I did come close. I didn't understand why he was this way. Whenever it seemed like the two characters were growing in character, they would revert back to old habits.

Ms Wiggs' writing is very good. She has an easy style that takes you right into the scene. She tells enough description to place you comfortably in the setting without bogging you down. Some of her lines are fantastic. I laughed out loud a few times and reread some passages because they were too good for one read through.

While I can't decide on my feelings toward the book, this author is one I will definitely read again.

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