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A Christmas Journey (Christmas Novellas) Audio CD – Audiobook, CD, Unabridged
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From the Inside Flap
It?s Christmas and the Berkshire countryside lies wrapped in winter chill. But the well-born guests who have gathered at Applecross for a delicious weekend of innocent intrigue and passionate romance are warmed by roaring fires and candlelight, holly and mistletoe, good wine and gorgeously wrapped gifts. It?s scarcely the setting for misfortune, and no one?not even that clever young aristocrat and budding sleuth Vespasia Cumming-Gould?anticipates the tragedy that is to darken this light-hearted holiday house party. But soon one young woman lies dead, a suicide, and another is ostracized, held partly responsible for the shocking turn of events.
To expiate her guilt, Gwendolen Kilmuir sets out for the Scottish Highlands, hoping to explain to the dead girl?s mother the circumstances surrounding the sorrowful act?and to bring her back to England for the funeral. Gwendolen?s sole companion on this nightmarish journey is Vespasia. As Vespasia learns more about the victim and the ugly forces that shaped her desperate deed, she understands the heartbreaking truth of the tragedy. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
The morals and mores of mid-nineteenth century England may seem strange and unusually strict to us, but Isobel and Vespasia must learn to live within those rules. As they travel, they share their thoughts and develop a true friendship. It is a journey of discovery for both of them, as they look deep inside themselves. I do agree with another reviewer that Vespasia dwells too much on her affair with Marco in Rome, but I assume that it is still a very recent occurrence, so that is understandable.
What I do not understand, however, is Vespasia's willingness to leave her children, well cared for though they are, for long periods of time, first to go to Rome and again to travel to Scotland. Again, I suppose it is customary for the gentry and nobility of that era to do so. Nevertheless, it surprised and disappointed me.
However, this is an excellent book which I highly recommend to all who love Aunt Vespasia and wish a glimpse of the young woman who became a great lady.
The title is misleading, it is not a Christmas story. It starts before Christmas and ends on Christmas Eve. It has virtually nothing to do with Christmas. To be accurate, it might better have been titled "A Winter Journey".
I had thought that this work might give insights into the wonderful Lady Vespasia from the Thomas Pitt novels. All it does is expose her as a shallow, almost adulterous lady of leisure who spends a great deal of time thinking of her lost love from a Roman escapade and has very little thought of her husband and children.She does not even spend Christmas Eve with her family but rushes off to Applecross to be with a man who has fascinated her throughout the book.
The woman who causes the problems in the story is a most unlikable person. She has a quick, sharp, wicked tongue and uses it often. She snaps at everyone, even as they try to help her.
The only person of true and nobel character is the stoic mother of the girl who committed suicide. She is the most interesting character in the book and only makes an appearance in the last quarter of the story. However even her character is under developed as there is no real reason given for her running from her previous life.
There are needless extensions of the trip to find the mother of the suicide victum. Everytime it seems that she will be found, she has moved on to another more remote location. This gives Ms.Perry a chance to describe the Scotland she calls home, but needlessly prolongs a story that has quickly run out of steam.
I wish I could recommend this book as Anne Perry and Christmas seemed a magnificent combination, but this is a very poor work from a usually great author.
The result is a tale that flows from an elegant house party in a country mansion north to the frozen snowy wastes of Scotland (and Anne Perry lives in northern Scotland so we can assume she knows whereof she speaks). It's a pilgrimage of sorts, with Vespasia and her friend Isobel toiling through storms and snowdrifts to find the mother of the dead woman and, incidentally the truth behind the suicide.
The only thing spoiling this good story is the overly moralistic tone that Anne Perry is increasingly becoming bogged down in. Of course you want characters with deep motivation - some pure, some mistaken, some evil - and the battle between good and evil always makes for good plot structure. But Anne Perry does tend to overdo it, leaving the reader wondering if she can stand being swamped beneath so many layers of virtue and morality.
I can not recommend this book.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I would recommend to everyone, each of us can learn something from the story line.
Friendship is priceless.