Always the Bluestocking

Emily EK

Mariah Wynn and Patrick O’Leary, Viscount Donal, encounter each other at the wedding of her brother. Mariah is a strong and intelligent female who wants more out of life than sewing and shopping for dresses and ribbons. She has a hunger for an education and a mind that can handle the rigor, but Oxford is only available to wealthy men. Donal is impressed with her passion but is unable to see past the accepted norms of the time. Additionally, Donal wants her in his bed yet has a great time sparring with her regarding her hunger for knowledge and her ideas about women and education. While Donal takes his education for granted and treats learning with a sense of boredom, Mariah seeks knowledge with her entire being, and fully appreciates every opportunity to learn.

Ms. Murdoch masterfully depicts the challenges facing intelligent women in the 1800’s seeking an education! This book takes the reader on a compelling journey of understanding how difficult things have been for females wanting an education. Viscount Donal is getting an ‘education’ at the same time; unfortunately, he’s a little slower to figure out the important parts. The pace of this book keeps the reader enthralled, while the characterizations and challenges faced by each protagonist add depth and insight to the story. What some may consider flaws in Mariah, others consider strengths. Donal has flashes of incredible insight and empathy in some of the actions he takes for Mariah, but loses greatly when he reacts poorly at times, falling back on stereotypes of the era. This book is an eye-opening delight from start to finish!

Carey Sullivan