This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Genres: Comedy Romance, Historical Romance, Romantic Comedy
Published by Indie/Self Published
Released on May 8, 2020
Penelope stood the test of time for me when I picked it up as a re-read in the audio version and found it as zany and madcap as ever. It was “excessively diverting” to quote Austen who would have found this one absurd, but oodles of entertaining fun all the same. It was a listening delight and, fair warning, if you are embarrassed by your laugh then banish yourself to listen at home.
Penelope begins when Miss Penelope Fairweather is brought to town for a London Season chaperoned by none other than a dowager duchess who owed an old friend so is bringing out her daughter. Penelope is not a bit like the shy, retiring country miss the ducal family was expecting. The Duke is something of a martinet and has the household running on a strict set of rules that Penelope’s arrival quite turns on its head. Without an effort, she gets into the worst, most embarrassing scrapes embarrassing the duke who already loathes her for being such a bumbling disruption. Even her pet goat, yes, you read that right, contributes to the mayhem.
But along the way, her good nature and heart win her the duke’s crotchety grandfather, his mother, his sister and perhaps if she can avoid disaster long enough, find romance with the most surprising person.
Penelope is a story that is sheer entertainment and something you definitely have to be in the mood for. It is not meant to be taken seriously on any level. Think of the great slapstick comedies that have a general storyline and then zing all over the place running foul of historical backdrop, manners, straight characters, and witty repertoire.
Though, it doesn’t go off the rails with the plot which is there and strong through it all. Penelope is a sweet-hearted, country girl who is there to gain some London polish and take her chances finding a husband during the London social season while a staid, pompous, rule-following duke learns to loosen up and see his life plan change as he observes Penelope tripping her way into some poise, refinement, and fashion.
Deryn Oliver was a new to me narrator, but her narration work was easy to listen to and slip into the story. I would often click on the story, planning to only listen to a little, and getting caught up in it and ignoring my plans. She caught the tone of the tale and the personalities of the characters. The characters were already a trip, but she worked with their comedic caricature so they were not too bombastic and were just right for this sort of story. Once in a while, I’d have to listen to a section over again, but that was the wordiness of the book and not the narration.
In summary, this Regency-era romp tickled my funny bone and I can heartily recommend it to those who enjoy a dab of sweet romance and a huge dollop of madcap comedy.
My thanks to the author for the opportunity to listen to this book in exchange for an honest review.
New Release #61
Historical Fiction #53
Romanceopoly #44 Free choice
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