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Proposal (Survivors' Club) Paperback – May 1, 2012
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Top Customer Reviews
This romance is unusual in a lot of ways. The hero is a gruff, socially awkward introvert; the heroine, while more traditional in some ways, is a widow in her 30s with a pronounced limp. Both of them have traumas in their pasts that they have each been working in their way to overcome, and both have been living life in a kind of holding pattern as they work their way towards recovery. The chemistry between them is, to me, electric - fueled, I believe, by the fact that in spite of their visible differences, they are similar at the core. Devoted, dutiful and brave, they suffer in silence. In the course of their courtship, they learn to speak to each other, to themselves, to others.
Without wanting to give too much away, I'll say that those who enjoy rollicking adventures would probably do better to look elsewhere. There are no highwaymen or spies lurking in the shadows. The biggest challenges this couple have to overcome are internal. The adventure is emotional. To put it bluntly, there's a lot of navel-gazing here. But this didn't bother me; I found the lead characters very well-rounded, well-realized people, and I invested heavily in the outcome. They could not themselves have been rooting any more for their happily-ever-after than I was.
I enjoyed their tale tremendously. To those who like emotionally complex, character-driven romance, I recommend.
In "The Proposal," she has chosen to explore guilt, one of her favorite themes. Both Hugo, the hero, and Gwen, the heroine, suffer from deep regrets and survivor's guilt. There is also the theme of class distinction -- in this instance, she is of the aristocracy and he is middle class. To that mixture, fold in the strong, silent personality of the hero and the heroine's very conscious cheerfulness and refusal to give in to self-pity. Stir in Balogh's penchant for characters making love outdoors. Balogh uses those selections from her author's bag of tricks over and over, but always in different combinations.
"The Proposal" has a tried-and-true Balogh plot: a couple find mutual attraction, make love, and then spend the rest of the story sorting out their emotions and learning about each other to arrive back at intimacy at the end of the book.
Some Balogh books are heavy on pathos. Others are light-hearted. This one treads a sort of middle path between the two.
There is some feeling of deja vu as bits of other Balogh novels waft through the story. For instance, the "I am going to marry the first woman I see" ploy from "The Ideal Wife" resurfaces, but here it is a joke among the hero and his friends rather than a basis for the novel.
Whether or not a reader enjoys this book will depend upon how that person likes the ingredients in Balogh's current confection. I enjoyed the book.Read more ›
The first novel in a series, especially one like this, where the main group of characters has an annual meeting at which they all show up and spend time together, has to establish the series setting (is it the marriage stories of the six Bedwyn siblings? the unexpected romances of a group of teachers at a select seminary for girls? the stories of a family centered around what happens to ae earl's family when the earl dies young and the title goes to the son of a vicar living in genteel poverty in a remote village?). At the same time, the novel has to stand alone as a good story on its own.
The thirteenth story in a group of connected characters has the problem of serving both new readers and those who have read the previous twelve books. People like the brother of the heroine and her favorite-cousin-who-was-raised-with-her-as-a-sister have to make sense to people who have never read the previous books, while still ringing true for returning readers. In fact, the one part of the book I did not like was almost certainly an attempt to deal with this issue. At one point, the heroine decides to tell her cousin-raised-as-a-sister the full story of her first marriage, which she has until now kept a closely guarded secret.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a heartwarming novel with some twists and turns along the way. The heroine and hero both are strong characters, sometimes at cross purposes. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Finnigan
Really liked this story of two people people from different classes, each tortured by their pasts, who fall in love.
Stoic war hero Hugo meets widowed Lady Gwen. Read more
What I like about Mary Balogh's books is that they have some substance to them. In this case, Gwen (mentioned in previous books such as a Summer to Remember) falls in love with a... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Sabrina Watkins
Mary Balogh wrote it, what more needs to be said? She's a wonderful storyteller and a gifted writer. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Nicholas G. Psaki, III
Such a sweet love story. I randomly picked this book, not realizing that some time ago I had already read the second book on this series(which I recommend as well). Read morePublished 1 month ago by Kristi
Good hero & heroine. Lacks conflict. Enjoyed the hero more than the heroine. Overall a good way to pass an afternoon.Published 2 months ago by Lynne Hawkinson