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The Duchess of Castile - Julian Fane

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1 Review

Genre: Fiction / Author: Julian Fane / Hardcover / 208 Pages / Book is published 1994-07-18 by Constable

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      11.09.2008 19:04
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      A book that sounded better than it was!

      After many years of having a "hiatus" from reading, I have finally reawakened my passion with a wonderful collection of books purchased from my local library sale.
      One of these many books was the book I will now review, albeit begrudgingly.

      The book I will review is "The Duchess of Castile".

      I have to state before starting this review, that I have a terrible habit of buying books purely on there front covers, if the cover appeals then surely the story will too..... Right?
      This book has the most boring and old fashioned cover I have ever seen, so instead of putting it back I actually took the time to read the inside page to see if the story was any better than the cover.
      From reading the exert I was hopeful and quite looking forward to beginning the read, I wasn't hopeful for long!

      The basic premise for the story is centred firstly around the younger of the Grevill/ Castile brothers. Ivo is a self confessed playboy, living off his older brothers fortune. Being the younger brother has effectively stripped him of what he consider to be a mandatory title of Duke, that after his fathers death was passed down to Walter, (the eldest).
      To try and appease his brothers ill feeling toward him, Walter employs Ivo to be his and the family names representative at all social occasions, especially the many, many shooting parties that got held, this story is based in Victorian times, so I did find it extremely interesting to hear how everything, even down to the way the lower classes address the higher classes, is handled, there seems to be certain protocol for each and every occasion!
      After a particular shooting event, that Ivo was reluctant to attend, (the party was being thrown by a social climber, after Ivo's connection to catapult himself into the right social circles), he meets a very interesting young woman called Beatrice, who was a widower, after losing her husband in a tragic shooting accident in South Africa.

      Ok, so far I am halfway through the book, the only thing that is keeping me reading is the fact I don't like to give up a project!

      This is where the story gets marginally better, but only just!

      This incredible young woman ties Ivo in knots, she gives him the come on only to rebuke his advances, there is even one occasion when she flies into his room, screaming that she is terrified of thunder storms, they end up sleeping together, this of course gives her one over Ivo, claiming that if he doesn't do as he's told she will say he raped her. The book only gets more unpleasant and pointless from this point on!

      This book could be so much more than it is, the basic storyline is quite clever in conception but the execution leaves a lot to be desired.
      After first thinking that this was romance book of sorts, I was much mistaken! The pure unadulterated hatred between the main characters, even after their marriage makes you really wonder what the point of this story is.
      Finally the book ends so abruptly that it takes you by surprise, with no real explanation as to what happens to the main characters, though in fairness by this point I didn't actually care!

      The book is a reasonable 200 pages long, and has only taken me 2 days to read, so I don't feel like I wasted too long on this pile of rubbish!

      As I mentioned earlier this was bought at a library sale for the price of 20p, thank goodness! After perusing the Amazon website I have found to purchase the paperback version of this book would set you back £9.99, fortunately they are out stock at present!

      As you may have gathered I didn't like this book that much, usually a fan of all things Victorian, this had too much pomp and circumstance thrown into the equation, or maybe the books I have read previously just hadn't got enough, either way I would not recommend this book in any way, shape or form.

      ISBN 0-09-473630-8

      Thanks for reading x

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