My name is Evelyn Davis and today I am reviewing “Angelina’s Secret” by Diane Merrill Wigginton, here on Novel Blogs. I want to end Women’s History month, by reviewing a fictional character set in historical France and how she deals with the traditional mindset of their times. Overall, the story is a hilarious historical romance set in 17th Century France. The order for this book review will be in the form of structure, story outline: strengths and weaknesses and overall critique.
Firstly, the Prologue starts with the “in medias res”, or “start in the middle” of the overall plot with the main protagonist, Angelina Stewart, and her hidden talent. The structure of “Angelina’s Secret” begins with a straight forward and direct confession by Angelina herself to the reader. In my opinion, this section before the actually could use more of a mystery element to the narrator’s hidden ability. Likewise, the story line flows very smoothly from the extravagant parties to each plot twist in the story. Wigginton structures each scene to go in order in perfection that kept me on my toes!
The Setting is in Spring 1763, narration is in 1st person Point Of View. Next, the Historical context in describing of 17th Century France is very authentic the social norm, dialect, character names, and strong themes of Feminism. The No bathing rule and role of women are traditionally to be pretty, get ready for marriage, and have babies.
Angelina Stewart, or Lady Stewart, is very sassy nineteen year old young lady. Her personality is contains a very proper attitude of a educated lady and English dialect within the stream of consciousness narration. Already, I can tell this story is a character base, not plot driven yet. Angelina is an independent girl in the 17th century, refusing to be someone’s wife. She is way before her time and a this is a great read for the month of March: Women’s History Month.
Then, in chapter 3, the narration shifts from first person to third person omniscient. Now, the narrator is Captain Jude Deveraux, a twenty-six year old privateer. At first, I thought he was a real pirate, but there is a difference between pirate and privateer. A privateer is a private individuals holding a government commission and authorized for use in war, especially in the capture of enemy merchant shipping. Interesting job description if you ask me. He is favored by the king. Wish he was more of a wanted bandit than a favored one by the king Louis XV but this story is taking a different turn. The one goal I can tell is this story refuses to be a cliche alike most pirate and rich damsel in distress. His family is living in luxury because of Jude’s heroic act. The antagonist is not really Jude.
Darcy is the antagonist within the story. I have a feeling that his involvement and motives much reveal a very cool aspect in the “Jewel Dagger” trilogy.
The plot twists had me rolling on the floor laughing. I love how the writer did encounters between Angelina and Jude. The Strong points of “Angelina’s Secret” is the character-driven story kept me more interested in the overall story being expressed. In contrast, the weak points is the narration during the story, the shifting in narration is a bit confusing, but not a limitation to the great storytelling Wigginton provides the reader. Nevertheless, I have enjoyed reading, “Angelina’s Secret” and look forward to the sequel coming out next month. Go read! Let’s make historical fiction more popular.
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