02 September, 2016

The Jeweled Snuff Box (1959) #review




Author -  Alice Chetwynd Ley
Pages -  178 pages
Publisher - New York : Ballantine Books, [©1959]
Publisher -  Endeavour Press (2015)
Kindle -  Link
Genre -  Historical Regency, Romance
Language -  Clean as a Whistle
Sexual Content -  0/5


SYNOPSIS


Eighteenth-century England.
Jane Spencer is amongst a group of travellers who are forced to delay their journey due to a snowstorm.
Their stage coach passengers are forced to get out and walk to a nearby inn.
Jane comes across a unconscious man lying half dead in the snow.
The man awakens not knowing who he is and is unable to recognize his only possession: a magnificent jewel-encrusted snuff box.
Jane nurses him and helps him return to London. But, just as she starts to care for him, he disappears as suddenly as he appeared in her life, leaving only his snuff box in her possession.
Later, Jane comes face to face again with the unknown man, now identified as Sir Richard Carisbrooke.
Her feelings for him continue to grow, yet she is forced to hide them as it appears Sir Richard is enamoured of another.
As the mystery unfolds, Jane is placed in an awkward situation, forced to make decisions – ones that may affect the rest of her life.


REVIEW


Too cute!

It was funny, knowing this was written so long ago and yet indicative of her very first Romance novel.

Perfectly clean and with an intriguing plot, but somehow it was obvious this still needed a bit of polish.

My main reason for wanting to read something this old was to finally get a true comparison of style and perhaps understand modern vs. antiquated forms of editing/content.

Although this is before my time, I was still taught to write this way, which is why I have such difficulty caving in or letting go of a lot of the grammar and sentence structure education I learned as a child.

She head-hopped with expertise and it didn't confuse me AT ALL: no excessive use of  ***** breaking up paragraphs.

She didn't insert unnecessary slang, opinion, or mood-of-the-moment to take me out of the story and into the day's headlines.

The chapters began and ended properly, and each scene stuck to the plan; never strayed or became bogged down with a lot of unnecessary editor-induced filler.

A balanced mix of both long and short sentences in a single paragraph (as opposed to blog-style reading of each sentence constitutes a full paragraph) made for an easy and satisfying read.

She didn't rely on heavy use of dialogue to get the message across yet didn't go into excessive thought monologue use, either.

The characters read well, were full-bodied, and easy to conjure up in my mind, as was the mysterious plot behind the romance.

Which was squeaky clean but not in a religiously off-putting way by today's standards.

I wasn't bored with their story and wanted to discover how it all turned out, but I cannot honestly say it was a true page turner, either.

However, I can say that I am interested in reading more of her novels.

She wrote 18 in all before her death in 2004.

Still, if it were to be written today, it might encounter a few Written at the High School Level reviews.

So, classic fiction w/out the fanfare owed greater works written at that time.

Personally, I'd rather follow Alice Chetwynd Ley's style lead than subject myself to some of the verbatim nonsense advise being handed today's authors.







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