April has decided to begin by gracing us with a beautiful day! The sun is shining, the sky a bright blue. After several days of rain, rain, and more rain (oh, and tornado watches), it’s a welcomed change.
It. Is. COLD.
Classic April 1. Can’t have it all, I suppose.
I’ve been quiet online for a while now. My personal life has been just plain busy lately–in a blessed way. In March, my son (The Boy) had a birthday and got to enjoy seeing friends at the park, a small family party, and all things PAW Patrol.
But in all this busy-ness, I did manage to make a little time for myself and *gasp* READ A BOOK. Even when I do have some “me time,” it’s usually spent writing, so to actually sit down and read/finish a book is huge for me. (Side note: Wynny’s story is finished and in editing stages!)
If you’ve read my intro post, you know I am a fan of Mimi Matthews. She writes mostly Victorian proper romances and is such a talented writer (The Work of Art and The Matrimonial Advertisement are my favorites). So it’s no surprise that what I chose to read was another one of her works.
Fair as a Star was released last year, and even though I preordered it, I read it just last month. It was such a sweet story. Ms. Matthews always does an excellent job of working certain disabilities or issues into her stories that would have been viewed with a sort of stigma in that time period. This book was no different.
Our heroine, Beryl (I just love that name), seemingly has everything going for her, but she fights an inner demon that no one sees–one that we understand today is depression. In the Victorian era, women suffering from depression would have simply referred to it as being “blue deviled.” But some doctors took to extremes in an attempt to “cure” mental illness. Some techniques required the subject to be wrapped for hours at a time in wet bedsheets or to submerge them in baths of freezing water. Is it a wonder these didn’t work?
Unfortunately, as demonstrated in The Matrimonial Advertisement, one who admitted to depression or mental illness could be taken advantage of and committed to an asylum against their will.
Many would end up suffering in silence to avoid any unwanted outcomes, but thankfully Beryl chooses to confide in her friend Mark.
Mark makes a wonderful hero–he’s secretly loved Beryl for years, and when she admits her bouts of depression to him, he doesn’t pass judgment. Though Beryl believes the condition makes her broken, Mark shows her it does nothing of the sort. He offers to help her through difficult times, to be there for her in whatever way needed.
And that’s what I loved so much about Mark–he doesn’t look for ways to “fix” Beryl. Even Beryl herself understands this melancholy has always been a part of her and has no reason for it–something unlikely to be simply “cured.” Instead, he chooses to be her friend through it all–and eventually, to let her know his love will be a constant.
Fair as a Star is a sweet, easy read with very little angst. There is an issue of Beryl being already betrothed to none other than the brother of Mark himself, but in true romance fashion, everything gets resolved. It was a nice little break from reality and I was able to like the main characters easily. If you need a light reading recommendation for this holiday weekend, give this book a try.
And, speaking of Easter weekend, my book An Impossible Choice will be FREE on Amazon–that’s no April Fools’ joke! It’s a great time to grab it if you haven’t had a chance to read it yet.
Let me know what you’re reading currently! I’m always looking for books to add to my TBR list.