Interesting story but a bit longwinded. Boston spinster Isadora is withdrawn, invisible & miserable in her life. In a pique of revolution, she signs on a ship bound to Rio as a translator, and her transformation from ugly duckling to beautiful swan is what the story is all about. The substory of slavery & redemption is a plus, but I found myself skipping through the book just to finish it.
gooseberry reviewed Charm School (Calhoun Chronicles, Bk 1) on
Helpful Score: 2
A very likable heroine - an intelligent, well read, badly dressed woman, completely out of her element at home but blooming during the long sail to Rio. The hero, however, though handsome and charming, was harder to like. Ah, well - to err is human. And he is very human.
I enjoyed the details about sailing. The author did her research well and also fit it into the story in an interesting way.
Isadora Peabody is an awkward misfit in her beautiful and accomplished family. Shunned by those she yearns to befriend, she gives her heart to a man who doesn't even know she exists. With nothing to lose, she seizes the chance to journey to a wondrous new world in search of a dream. In a society where men are judged by their family name and position, Ryan Calhoun is considered to be reckless for walking away from his. Driven by his quest to right an old wrong, the firey, tempermental sea captain doesn't have time to look after the meek young woman who comes aboard his ship. What Isadora discovers on the voyage is more adventure than she could have imagined. The crew of motley sailors becomes her personal charm school, teaching her to be a lady. And giving her the confidence to believe in a startling new love.
This was just a good book. It made me smile to see the pirates on this ship in a different light. It's also always fun to read about a girl transforming herself into a better version of herself. I really enjoyed this book.
This is the first in a series called "The Calhoun Chronicles" by Susan Wiggs. It is a delightful story about a girl who just doesn't fit in high society. She's not beautiful, she's more interested in book learning than social circles. She is very intelligent, and finally works her way onto a sailing ship heading for South America. Great story, very descriptive: you can almost feel the waves and smell the salt water on her voyage! Excellent read by a great author. I highly recommend it.
Oh my gosh I loooooooove this book so much. One of my favorite books ever. I read it over and over again until sadly I had to give it back to my sister-in-law so now I have this on my Reminders List so I can go back to reading it multiple times. If you haven't read it you must, I mean there's no other option for you but to read this book, I refuse to let you not read this book. I will find you and force you if I have to.
Another great Susan Wiggs book. She never disappoints! This story of social consciousness in 1850's Boston is very enjoyable. Repressed Boston socialite meets swashbuckling sea captain. Catherine Coulter's quote... "an irresistible blend of The Ugly Duckling and My Fair Lady. Jump right in and enjoy yourself - I did."
This was a very well written book and I loved reading it. The main characters weren't perfect, but they were admirable. The romance between the sea captain and the wealth Boston misfit was enjoyable to read about. I can't wait to read the Horsemaster's Daughter, which is the story of the sea captain's step brother.
Isadora Peabody is a shy, awkward daughter in a wealthy, accomplished Boston family. When an opportunity comes up for Isadora to travel by ship to Rio, she uses her business acumen to talk the owner of the ship into allowing her act as translator and clerk aboard ship.
Ryan Calhoun comes from a plantation-owning Virginia family. However, he has rejected their wealth that was earned by slave labor. He has managed to become sea captain of the Silver Swan. Ryan does not want Isadora on board, especially when he finds out that she is reporting back to the owner of the ship.
The plot was obvious, by using excerpts from THE UGLY DUCKLING. One thing that seemed wrong was the fact that the seamen of the ship taught Isadora to dance and curtsy. In a wealthy Boston family, a tutor would have been employed to teach all the children how to dance and behave in society.
There's a subplot about the issue of slavery in America in the 1850's. It added a level of gravitas to an otherwise light story. 3.5 stars
An enjoyable read, because the heroine is growing into a more confident gal and the hero is learning about life while the author keeps the pace of the romance real with conflicted emotions that the situation warrants. An interesting locale combines with characters you like and want to know. Some extra words padded which I always skip. For the sexual act, I prefer only dialogue and character advancement with sensual mystery, rather than overt descriptions of the physical process, not being a voyeur.
Isadora peabody is an awkward misfit in her beautiful and accomplished family. shunned by those she yearns to befriend, she gives her heart to a man who doesn't even know she exists. with nothing to lose, she seizes the chance to journey to a a wonderous new world in search of a dream.