Greygallows, by Barbara Michaels

>> Wednesday, October 29, 2003

Another week, another Barbara Michaels. This time: Greygallows.

Not knowing the past of her charming and handsome suitor, Lucy Cartwright accepts his marriage proposal. Innocently following Baron Clare to his estate, Lucy has no idea that he is leading her into a world of betrayal and danger. Suddenly she realizes the man of her fondest dreams has become the source of her worst nightmares, and she must devise a way out
*Sigh* It's hard to grade this one. I suppose it was a good book, if I had to evaluate it objectively, but the thing is the whole injustice of the laws at the time and helplessness of the heroine made me too angry and depressed to enjoy it. I'll have to give it a C+.

I mean, it was so frustrating! Lucy was so obviously making a huge mistake. She realized the consequences, that once she was married there was pretty much nothing she could do to get out of it if it became intolerable. She wasn't too sure of what she was doing. And yet, she didn't have the spine to take a stand.

Maybe the thing was she was too young. And that was something else I disliked. I suppose it's accurate, but a 17-year-old heroine is just too young for me to relate to, at least as a supposedly "adult" character.

To make things worse, there was very little of the humour I like so much in most of this author's books here. It had the oppressive atmosphere I enjoy in gothics, but without that extra something else, it wasn't thrilling, just awfully depressing.

So far I've had mixed results with Michaels' historicals. Black Rainbow and Greygallows, I didn't like, while The Master of Blacktower, Sons of the Wolf and Wings of the Falcon were good. I'll have to see what I think of The Wizard's Daughter, the only one I haven't reread lately...


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