In the depths of this book, you'll discover historical fiction. A prologue of romantic letter swapping between cousins-in-law in England and India becomes a full blown drama with notes of intrigue. Set in the 1800s, the story is larger than a romance and hints at politics on a global scale.
Folie, a widow who can not control her financial situation, nor that of her step daughter, will finally meet her step daughter's gaurdian, the same man she once came to love through letters. Madness has overtaken him and left him unrecognizable when she finally meets him in person.
Fairly young and determined, Folie must deal with her past feelings as she attempts to persuade this apparently insane man to allow the mother and daughter to proceed with their immediate plans to launch the step daughter into society. In addition to the sudden loss of her independence years after her husband's death, Folie fights through the confusion of dealing with a madman too paranoid to allow them to leave the grounds of the house and her fondness for the man she hoped he would be.
As the story unfolds, Kinsale masterfully switches from her point of view to his, all the while building personalities, romantic tension and social circumstances most women today can hardly imagine.
Late in the story, startling events catapult the story forward. Minor mentions have become major circumstance and the lives of the characters pivot in place, barely in control of their balance.
I absolutely LOVE this book. In a funny way, even though it's a story set in the early 1800's, it's very timely, what with internet and e-mail available, and people falling in love just from a person's letters even though they've never met. Laura Kinsale is brilliant at building characters and making them seem alive. This is one of my favorite of her books!
romance star and grand prize winner does it again with this fascinating mystery/thriller/historical romance.
An innocent correspondence turns into a secret love. But madness and seduction are a dangerous combination.
His letters begin with "My sweet Folly..." Over 7 years, the innocent correspondence between Folie Hamilton and her husband's cousin in India, Lieutenant Robert Cambourne, transformed into a secret passion. After Folie's husband died, Robert became the guardian of her stepdaughter, and, on his return to England, summoned them to his imposing estate. In an instant, Folie's expectations of a heroic soldier were destroyed. For this Robert Cambourne was a man on the edge of madness, tormented by unseen demons. Possessing a dak seductiveness and a tempestuous nature, he both frightened and fascinated Folie. But fear turned into desire and madness into mystery as Folie was drawn deeper and deeper into the danger that surrounded him...
A Victorian romance told through letters.
seven year correspondence. when folie's husband dies, they meet.