Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Cinders and Sapphires

Cinders and Sapphires by Leila Rasheed
At Somerton, Book 1

Publication Date: January 22, 2013

Teen, Ages 12+

ARC copy used for review.

Personal Ranking 3 out of 5

It is 1910 and the Earl of Westlake and his daughters, Ladies Ada and Georgiana, have spent the past decade in India where their father has been the lieutenant governor. Now, forced to return to their home, Somerton, in the wake of political scandal, the family has to adapt in more ways then one. The staff at Somerton are in a rush trying to ready the home for the Averley's arrival, but then news comes of a wedding and the Lord's new wife and her children. Rose, is trying to quickly learn the ropes as the new ladies' maid, but refuses to accept the advice she has been given to take advantage of her situation. Lady Ada feels the weight of her families troubles on her shoulders, but how can she choose between her dreams and ambitions and her family?

First I am so thankful to live in a time when I did not have to fight for my right to a good education and a voice just because I am a woman. Second, to have the freedom to marry who I want, for any old reason or just because I love him, should be celebrated.

Now all of that being said, diving into the world of Somerton was like being a fly on the wall during a good period soap opera. There were so many characters and and games played among them that I just got sucked in completely into their world. Above all, I found myself cheering for Ada and her desire to be with the one she loves and pursue an education at Oxford. Thankfully, At Somerton, will be a series, and I can't wait to see what Ada and her sister's are able to accomplish. There are so many rules to society and how you should be seen that it almost forces everyone to live a lie.

In many ways there are also traces of a Cinderella-like tale, with the sudden marriage and the evil stepmother and stepsister. Except, with the father still in the picture, even though his daughters are more naive, they keep besting the evil pair. Even the stepbrothers seem to be on their side. I have so many theories and questions, but I will be patient and sit back and see what happens next.

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