Thursday, March 26, 2009
Author: Susan Carroll
Publishing Date: 1987
Lady Melyssan has devised a plan to escape from King John's lecherous clutches by pretending to be wed to Lord Jaufre de Macy, better known as the Dark Knight. She sets herself up in his castle, Winterbourne while he is away in France. When he arrives home he goes along with her charade calling her bluff, wanting to see just how far she is willing go on with her deceit.
Lady Melyssan and Lord Jaufre could not be more opposite. Melyssan is sweet and innocent and believes first and foremost the best in everyone. Jaufre, on the other hand quickly jumps to the worst conclusions about everyone and is an angry, disillusioned man. He has good reason to be this way because of some terrible things that have happened in his past. Also, the current political state of affairs are pretty disheartening as well.
Winterbourne had plenty of angst and drama. I like angst but too much can be a drag. Jaufre and Melyssan were very quick to jump to the wrong conclusion and instead of talking through their problems, they just sulked and avoided them. After a while this became troublesome. Even though that bothered me, for the most part this was a very fast read. The characters were well drawn and even though Melyssan was a very sweet person, she wasn't syrupy. Jaufre was your typical medieval man, close-mouthed about his feelings and yet protective of his wife and child.
One thing that you don't see to much of today is books that scan a long period of time. Winterbourne did and it took place over several years. It read like an eighties book with the misunderstandings and the sweeping length, but it didn't come with the negatives the eighties were known for, the rape or the womanizing. Winterbourne wasn't without its problems, but it was a good solid read for me.
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