Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Susan Wiggs - The Charm School

Isadora Peabody is an awkward misfit in her beautiful and accomplished family. Shunned by those she yearns to befriend, she gives her heart to a man who doesn't even know she exists. With nothing to lose, she seizes the chance to journey to a wondrous new world in search of a dream.
In a society where men are judged by their family name and position, Ryan Calhoun is considered to be reckless for walking away from his. Driven by his quest to right an old wrong, the fiery, temperamental sea captain doesn't have time to look after the meek young woman who comes aboard his ship.
What Isadora discovers on the voyage is more adventure than she could have imagined. The crew of motley sailors becomes her own personal charm school, teaching her to be a lady. And giving her the confidence to believe in a startling new love.

Comment: I've got this book to read for some time. I got it at bookmooch, a site that allows you to exchange books you don't want to with others you'd like. It's tricky and is set on a points currency, but after a while it can be a great help, I've got many books, especially older ones (as the more recent aren't easily available there), thankfully to this site.
Anyway, I've seen Hilcia liked this book a lot and by the blurb I thought I'd like it too.

This is the story of Isadora Peabody, she's a woman other make fun of and she never feels worthy. Despite her family being an important one, she never thinks she might be happy and she is clumsy and others can't seem to see how wonderful she really is. She isn't the most attractive person in the world and is always doing something wrong in her otherwise beautiful family. But a ship will change that.
Ryan Callhoun is eager to prove himself and has two goals in his life, to help his former slave and always friend Journey to get his family back and to prove he is a good skipper. Isadora will show up and from the beginning sparks fly...

I liked this book a lot. It's one of my favorites of the year, for certain. I mean, the year isn't over yet, but this is a favorite already.
I really liked the feel of the story, how Isadora is so sad and clumsy and unhappy all the time and how that changes after she embarks on an adventure where she finds out she isn't only stronger than she thought she is also much more than her outside and despite being a good friend to everyone she can also be pretty.

Isadora has a lot to overcome in her adventure. She goes from a clumsy unattractive girl to someone who discovers a side of herself she didn't thin she could present to world even when in her heart she knew she had it in her. But sometimes we need others to see for themselves what we can be instead of just hoping they will. I liked how Isadora never had to make mistakes to learn a lesson as it happens with so many novels with this theme, where characters do something wrong and by being judged realize they had always been perfect as they were. No, Isadora keeps her personality and her intelligence. What she learns is how illusions can be in front of everyone, even those who think are immune to them, for instance, in her idea of who the perfect man for her was, but in the end she changed, she grew up through the challenges in the ship and what she sees and she ends up being the most wonderful person ever in the eyes of those who love her, something she didn't think possible.

Ryan is someone used to difficulties and injustices. At first he didn't seem someone one might care about, but his values were in the right place and I enjoyed getting to now him too, even more so, because his relationship with Isadora was full of sexual tension and developing love and it was also fun to watch them interacting. Ryan wanted to do something he believed in even if he had to make bad decisions over that. I can't say I applaud him for that, after all good values don't excuse bad actions, but his heart was in the right place. He is a very likable character all things considered.

The slavery theme here can be an issue for some. It's not the easiest of themes and despite being all very fiction like and not that deeply discussed, it still touches out minds about how it must have been like and how unfair and inhuman it was. I felt very angry just thinking some of the situations mentioned in this boo could have been true a they surely were.

All in all, I enjoyed this book a lot. I liked the ugly duking storyline and how it progressed, I liked many situations and scenes int he book, the romance was great and I liked the characters on their own as much as when they were together...many ties this doesn't happen...I can«t wait to read the next book, I'm buying it this time and as soon as I can.
For an older book, this certainly was amazing. Oh the great hidden treasures out there...


  1. Oh you read it! Wasn't this a gorgeous historical romance? I too was surprised that I loved it so... next on your list by Wiggs, The Horsemaster's Daughter. *g* That was another great read, Sonia.

  2. Hello!
    Yes, this one was great..oh and what a coincidence, I just purchased 4 books at BD and one of them was precisely Horsemaster's Daughter!!! Can't wait!