I reached 60% of this book, then I gave a look at the tall (tall! it feels like a euphemism) pile of books waiting on my nightstand and I decided: I’ve given it a fair chance, and life’s just too short. Now let’s skim the rest and move on. (Then I started an angry blog post about it, and just left it to
rot gather dust for a whole month, because, clearly, I had better things on my mind)
I wanted to love it (I mean, Mitfords, the roaring 20s, a murder – true crime!, a perfect book cover with a pretty font, what’s not to love?). I wanted to like it, but it didn’t move quite nearly fast enough. The Mitfords are just a pretext, they make cameo apparitions with their weird nicknames and quirky lifestyle, but the narrator is poor Louisa, a girl who gets to work for the Mitfords as a nursery maid by curious
unbelievable means and just for a while. Louisa is no Mitford, her boyfriend is no Sherlock, and the murder story would almost work without Mitford at all. So why bother? The subtitle on the cover “Six sisters, a lifetime of mystery” is clearly misleading.
As for the murder story, it’s based on a true crime, so I believe the writer worked with some real historical constraints, but the pace was slow and many part of the development stretched my disbelief just way too thin… until it just broke (or whatever the apt metaphor is here). Some things were well researched, but the characters didn’t seem to react in a historically / socially appropriate way, and that’s one of my pet peeves. Sorry folks, not for me. Maybe I should try some original Mitford instead?