Mary Green, obscure orphan and ward of the wealthy Hargreaves family, has always accepted her inferior position with grace, humility, and gratitude. When she discovers that her only friend is to leave the country forever, that her confidence has been betrayed by the unfeeling youngest daughter of the family, and that her very deprivation is the object of the mockery and scorn of everyone she has sought to honour, she determines to cast them off and make her own way in the world. On her twenty-first birthday, free to choose her own destiny, she dreams of peace and tolerance, and perhaps a partner who might be noble enough to love her in all her simplicity. But when an unexpected foray into London society disrupts all her plans, she is faced with an uncharacteristic storm of feelings. Will she grow strong and happy in her independence, or will her character be lost amidst her newfound ambition? Unable to trust the whims of her own heart, Mary is forced to confront the question that has forever plagued her: Who is she and where does she come from?
Kerr's heroine, Mary Green, delightfully combines Anne Shirley's naivety with Emma Woodhouse's strength of mind in a debut historical novel filled with the magic and romance of Cinderella. Mary, an orphaned ward of her uncle Sir Richard Hargreaves, decides on her 21st birthday to leave behind his Oxfordshire house along with her cousins' and aunt's air of superiority. But before she has the chance, a lawyer unexpectedly arrives to hand her a shockingly large inheritance from her adoptive parents, Sir Richard's sister and her husband, who died when Mary was five. Suddenly wealthy and independent, she sets off for a new life in London. Her quest to figure out who she is both biological and metaphorically is a joy. Kerr uses dialogue and colloquialisms that authentically evoke the Regency era. The cast of secondary characters including Mary's quippy chaperone, Mrs. Burrows; the entitled but loveable Carrington sisters; the resourceful and talented dressmaker Graham; and the puzzling Ingles brothers all help to draw readers into this fairy tale. Mary is so captivating that readers will readily suspend any disbelief to see her get to a happy ending.
Country mouse becomes city mouse becomes someone in between. Tremendous