Pride and Penitence


Georgiana, Duchess of Bridgewater, is getting ready to move from London to Bath. While her daughter, Maisie, is helping her pack she comes across an unfamiliar box and before Georgie can stop her, Maisie has the lid off and is looking at the contents in wonder. There are dozens of love letters that she proceeds to open and read and realizes they aren’t from her father. After some coaxing, Georgie tells the story of her first love, Mal. She tells her daughter how he was a soldier and deemed not good enough for an aristocrat’s daughter. With her father now dead and Georgie a widow, Maisie encourages her mother to find her lost love. Georgie refuses and Maisie and her husband bring several Malcolm MacKintoshes to dinner in search of the "real" Mal. To appease Maisie, Georgie sets out to find Mal herself. 

Vibrant colors abound in this regency story of a lost love. Georgiana’s red hair and Mal’s mahogany curls shine against the beautiful greens of the Cotswolds where this novel is set. A unique tome, it is two stories in one as Georgie tells her daughter the story of her lost love, and in the present time another story unfolds. Tissues are a must when reading this story, as it is very emotional at times. What takes away from this tale is that much of the conflict is just due to a gross misunderstanding. Eventually the two stories merge to become a new tug-of-war of emotions. Mal and Georgie are described as two delightful characters in their youth whom lose none of their charm as they age. This novel is the same - delightful, charming and moving. 

Belinda Wilson