FICTION: GENERAL . reviews
I first picked up The Secret History of the Pink Carnation as a request from my sister. She saw it in one of the reviews published in The Straits Times earlier this year. (Being a librarian, of course, I managed to track down the date, 20 March 2005.)
New York: Dutton, 2005
Call No.: WIL
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My sisters and I were fans of The Scarlet Pimpernel series of novels many years ago. It was so long ago that I can’t even remember whether it was from my school library or the public library when I first got my hands on a copy of The Scarlet Pimpernel. Laura Willig, the author of The Secret History of the Pink Carnation, is also a great fan of the Scarlet Pimpernel series which is what prompted her to start writing this whole league of English spies who were somehow connected with one other.
About the book then, there are two romances in the book: one – Eloise and Colin in present times, the other – Amy and Richard Selwick during the French Revolution. It’s amusing to read how both couples started off their romances on a sour note. (I can already hear the sigh in lovers of romance fiction!)
I thought that the encounters between Amy and Richard are more interesting (it’s supposed to be since this story is about the Pink Carnation). Amy heads to France to find her brother, Edouard as well as to find the Purple Gentian while Richard is there as a spy for England. Of course, there is the ubiquitous Delaroche, who is determined to unmask the Purple Gentian after Scarlet Pimpernel’s identity was exposed. So how does the Pink Carnation come into the picture? Well, there are two spies in the book and it’s up to you to find out what their true identities are.
The encounters between Eloise and Colin are rather … bland. They would mostly meet because of Amy’s letters and diary. Both are drawn towards each other but they refuse to acknowledge it. It always takes someone else to point it out to them or a misunderstanding to make them realize that true love is just round the corner… What can I say? Romance fans, grab this book now!
Also, watch out for the sequel, The Masque of the Black Tulip, due to be released this December!
Contributed by Chui Suet Fen, Librarian, Adult & Young People Services.
[Read what others are saying about books by Lauren Willig: Lauren Willig]
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