I am doing a review of “A Bachelor’s Dream” by the Duchess. I acquired this book at an antique store some time ago. And the first thing I noticed, and what convinced me to buy it in about oh… two seconds, was that the main character was constantly called the Doctor. And being a fan of a certain television show, I found that amusing. It’s not until a few pages later that you find out his name is George Brudenell.
Now before I dive into the story, allow me to lay down a few more facts about it. The book is a small, dirty brown paper-back that contains the novella “A Bachelor’s Dream” as well as “MS Found In A Battle”, a short story by Edgar Allan Poe. That one I have not read yet, but will maybe review later. I looked the book up when we got home, and from best I could tell it was published somewhere around the end of the 1800’s. So maybe 1890’s at the latest. The book is also part of the Wakefield series, no. 84 to be extract. I’m not entirely sure what that is, but I’m slightly interested in reading more. It was quite interesting to read and hold a book that it 100+ years old, but not too different. And I’m still laughing over the fact that they keep calling him the Doctor!
The story starts out simply enough. An English gentleman returns to the house of a friend to ask for her advice, on what to do with his sister’s three wild children that will be visiting him. The story takes an unexpected turn when the good doctor witnesses a murder attempt on a strikingly good looking woman.
When the strange young lady recovers, she brings with her an air of dark mystery. She agrees to be the much-needed governess of the troublesome children. Her charges, as well as her master, are in awe at the modest, cool, and almost queenly like grace of which she moves and act.
The author expertly weaves through the months, only popping in when something is happening, and the mystery deepens around the cool, gorgeous, iceberg of a woman.
There are murders, secret societies, kidnappings, and secrets that lay just below the surface of her cold, penetrating eyes. Hints are dropped subtlely, always keeping you guessing.
The words and descriptions flow nicely. Though, perhaps due to it’s oldness, I sometimes had to reread a section to make sure I got it. The characters are drawn well, with contrast and some conflict. And you grow to love the quite and kind Doctor, wonder at the mysterious woman, fret with the house keeper, and come to know all of them.
It is worth the read, through not for younger children. I noticed a handful of types, but nothing to fret about. And The ending is rather sad, but has a kind of poetic justice about it. All in all, it was an enjoyable book.