Romantic Fiction, Reality Shaping and The Work

Andrian

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Just finished reading Marry in Haste from Anna Gracie's series "Marriage of Convenience". It was a pleasent and heartwarming read, seeing how the main characters of the book began to blossom and become a better version of themselves while interacting with each other, helping each other to overcome together every challange that was popping in their way, like a family or a community.

Another aspect of the book that struck me and made me remember some of my own similar past experiences from early childhood was that blackmail/intimidating move from the part of some individuals in the novel that were bound to see Emm's soul crushed, to see her humiliated and destroyed. While reading one gets the understanding of the value of such painful life experiences since in those situations one gets to choose how to react thus discovering of what he's made of, his true nature, if he's willing to stay firm and fight off calmly those that are trying to bend him to their will or surrender to other's will and get his soul crushed as a result.
 

Tauriel

Jedi Master
Almost finished with Anne Gracie's 'Marriage of Conveniance' series. Gracie's style and humour are appealing.

While the c-hystery at my workplace increases I still take the novels as a counterbalance desperately needed to keep myself sane.
I realized, although it's subtle, that overall I'm becoming more appreciative for what I have and more patient with myself and others. I feel acceptance coming faster and if I'm getting all emotional over something, even losing my temper, I hear the soothing little voice louder when it calls me back to more equilibrium and I can follow with more ease. When I have judgement I seem to be unable to keep it up for a longer period of time. It's as if being dragged back from whatever negative place I choose to linger.
It's hard to describe but even if in some kind of turmoil my very core still feels quiet and relaxed as if my trust in DCM grew.

The story of Rose and Thomas, 'Marry in Secret', gave me several good cries turning into loud sobbing when
Thomas was bringing his fellows back home to England
Something in the story touched me deeply and it wasn't the romance.
As others have pointed out, one really must read a lot of these books to find the ones triggering the personal demons and the burried stuff since we all have different things to realize and to work on.

As for the urge to hide the covers from an ignorant surrounding I treated myself with this nice flowery cover, because noone ever said you cannot cover a book by another cover. ;-)
131536648_184385193394364_7023142663401092722_n.jpg
 

primeaddict

Jedi Council Member
FOTCM Member
1608423655901.png
I'm enjoying the hilarious banter between Prudence and Lord Carradice. His behavior reminded me of the Ideal Husband. This clip is a great example of his smooth behavior around women.

In high school a girl I was interested in was seduced by a guy I knew was a rake. She was kicked out of her home by her dad and spend her senior year in shame and agony. Looking back on it I can see how she was easily played but my self righteous attitude that she deserved her missory is painfully obvious now. It reveled how easy I was entrapped by my own arrogance and sense of superiority. Simple kindness towards her would have been a better approach.
 

primeaddict

Jedi Council Member
FOTCM Member
Also in 'The Perfect Rake,' Gideon's father had committed suicide when he was still a child and Prudence said that the father was too selfish about his one loss of love that he failed to see that he had a son that needed his love. She further elaborated on lost love, "Even if no one loves you, there is always someone who needs to be loved by you. Always. You just have to look outside yourself." A true SOS mindset!

Prudence's grandfather was a real piece of work, a puritanical, sex obsessed bully. His abuse of the 5 girls brought up memories of my childhood. Lucky for our family our parents were tame compared to the neighbor. The neighbor boy's were whipped with the belt and often had welts on their legs. A cruel mind can not see reason or understand the harm they are causing because of their own inner demons. Such demonic possession is extremely difficult to purge from the bully and terrifying to the abused.
Pru's ability to endure the terror by focusing on her love for Gideon was a heartwarming insight by the author.
 

Mariama

Ambassador
Ambassador
FOTCM Member
A common theme that I've noticed in these books is that many of the interpersonal problems stem from the characters keeping secrets from each other, holding on to old wounds and not speaking openly and plainly with each other. They fall in love with each other but each partner is afraid to tell the other one so they spend half the book pining for one another worrying that their beloved will abandon them. They assume that they are damaged and unlovable and that their beloved will reject them if they find out the truth about them, but the secret drives a wedge between the two and the other person creates a narrative about what the terrible secret could be.
I'm reading Caroline Linden's second book An Earl like you ATM and it's a hard one in the sense that the reason for the marriage in this novel is based on lies and betrayal IMO.
It's not just the husband who doesn't come clean about his purpose for the marriage, the same applies to his father-in-law with whom he has made a deal. Imagine being the wife in that situation. Furthermore, Eliza is a very giving person, but doesn't seem to be able to understand that the two most important men in her life are anything but considerate and then I am putting it mildly. Although I can see that both men wanted their own families to be happy and carefree, but at the expense of the other family that was involved and Eliza was caught in the middle.
Someone I know very well has told his wife a lot of lies over the years to whom he was married for more than 20 years. Lies (by omission) and lack of accountability and responsibility on his part and her inability/unwillingness to see what was going on destroyed the marriage and the whole family and this dynamic is described so well in the novel that it made me feel agitated. This novel really spells out what lies can do to a marriage, but I don't whether it is because I have already processed a lot and understand interpersonal relationships so much better or whether this story is so much more in our face and forces us to have a really close look at the power of truth. Although Caroline Linden doesn't offer any psychological insights in these Wagers of Sin series the way Mary Balogh does it becomes perfectly clear just by reading the story OSIT.
 

Jones

Ambassador
Ambassador
FOTCM Member
A common theme that I've noticed in these books is that many of the interpersonal problems stem from the characters keeping secrets from each other, holding on to old wounds and not speaking openly and plainly with each other.

I've noticed that too and found it frustrating to an extent but have also been thinking about it in terms of strategic enclosure. Coming from someone who bottled up emotions and thoughts, found that didn't work in relationship, so went to the opposite extreme with disastrous results by being too open, too soon with the wrong people so FWIW.

In that first flush of attraction where critical thinking can go out the window sometimes too much can be said and that could cause lots of problems down the track.

From the Huxtable Quintet where sometimes the secrets are protecting important and meaningful projects that could come under attack if they were spoken freely about. In some instances it's apparent that there's a degree of allowing the ton/beau monde or even in some instances family to gossip and think the worst rather than being open about the projects or connections that are precious or where a lot of harm could be created by being too open about them.

So keeping secrets initially can be protective until there's greater certainty about the character of the one that is the focus of the attraction.
 

Anthony

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
I'm reading Caroline Linden's second book An Earl like you ATM and it's a hard one in the sense that the reason for the marriage in this novel is based on lies and betrayal IMO.
It's not just the husband who doesn't come clean about his purpose for the marriage, the same applies to his father-in-law with whom he has made a deal. Imagine being the wife in that situation. Furthermore, Eliza is a very giving person, but doesn't seem to be able to understand that the two most important men in her life are anything but considerate and then I am putting it mildly. Although I can see that both men wanted their own families to be happy and carefree, but at the expense of the other family that was involved and Eliza was caught in the middle.

Yes, though notice also that if it wasn't for those lies and scheming between her father and her husband, the main characters would probably never have met, and they would probably never get their "happily ever after". So how does on judge properly in such a situation? In the context of the novel, the lies led to a beneficial outcome in the end. As has been stated on the forum before, the context is that which is important when judging between what is right and what is wrong. Reading these books has opened up a whole gray area that I didn't pay attention to before.
 

Mariama

Ambassador
Ambassador
FOTCM Member
Yes, though notice also that if it wasn't for those lies and scheming between her father and her husband, the main characters would probably never have met, and they would probably never get their "happily ever after". So how does on judge properly in such a situation? In the context of the novel, the lies led to a beneficial outcome in the end. As has been stated on the forum before, the context is that which is important when judging between what is right and what is wrong. Reading these books has opened up a whole gray area that I didn't pay attention to before.
True, and the same goes for me. I'm almost near the end of the novel and I have changed my mind about the father. I started asking myself questions as to why he would do what he had done and I now understand his intentions. Still, the husband and the father could have told her the truth after the marriage vows had been pledged or perhaps even earlier and could have shared all the information that was kept hidden from her and allowed her to make up her own mind? She was sensible and sensitive enough. At the same time both men could have worked on the relationship between them. That would have spared her a whole lot of grief. But probably because they were both a tad resentful towards each other they kept the situation as it was and Eliza had to find out the hard way and all the while her husband felt guilty about the false premise of the marriage. Thank God for happy endings! :-)
 

hlat

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
I'm almost near the end of the novel and I have changed my mind about the father. I started asking myself questions as to why he would do what he had done and I now understand his intentions. Still, the husband and the father could have told her the truth after the marriage vows had been pledged or perhaps even earlier and could have shared all the information that was kept hidden from her and allowed her to make up her own mind? She was sensible and sensitive enough. At the same time both men could have worked on the relationship between them. That would have spared her a whole lot of grief. But probably because they were both a tad resentful towards each other they kept the situation as it was and Eliza had to find out the hard way and all the while her husband felt guilty about the false premise of the marriage.
A tad resentful? I think that you are going too easy on the villain, the father. Father's associates cheated the earl out of thousands of pounds, which the earl needed for his sister's dowry. Then father threatened to put the earl in debtor's prison and ruin his reputation if the earl refused to court the daughter. So the earl had no choice but to participate in father's scheme against his own daughter, or else go to prison, sister couldn't marry, and the family ruined. By the end of the book, both earl and daughter had rightfully cut out father from their lives, though I disagree with them letting him back in.
 

Voyageur

Ambassador
Ambassador
FOTCM Member
Had steeped back again to Balogh in her Westcott Someone to... series. The first book, within the first chapter's, reveals a colossal family collective fit of vapors, wherein families worlds and realities are turned upside down upon the drop of a legal pin. The orphanage is a theme. And without saying much, this is also the first book read of a couple of dozen where Chinese martial arts is introduced as a subject.

In the second Someone to... book (and the first), there is role reversal, and much pain and readjustment. Identities are lost and identities are gained, along with recognition of programed family/societal false personalities, and the drive to uncover their authentic selves. The reader, just as the characters, are lead a merry dance of making judgement (an overall theme in all the books), and Balogh and others are good at creating these conditions.

There is one brief Balogh quote that seemed in alignment to the work:

Sometimes other people's words become uncomfortable mirrors in which we gaze upon ourselves.

- Lady Camille
 

seek10

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
So, I sampled another: "Potent Pleasures" (Not part of the Wildes series). My god, that one was a real wringer!!! I noticed it was part of a different series, so I got the other two: "Midnight Pleasures" and "Enchanting Pleasures". They should be read in that order. And holy frijoles, they are intense! Some real issues going on there.
I finished the remaining two in the series. Eloisa james (an english professor) takes some real life historical events and weaves some interesting plots. I enjoyed the Enchanting Pleasures. She made a nice comedy of aristocratic friviloties(aka mannerisms) with this novel, while depicting the physical symptoms of love. Last section of the plot "Curing without consent" was intense. When partners who grew up in different cultures pull the string of marriage/Love/Life, one will never know when the string breaks.
 

Rolae

Padawan Learner
I felt, "Only Beloved", to be a dutiful-pious of writes. The reading for this book kept in sequence, and nothing extraordinarily outside the stories relationship capacity for impressing. A completeness as in a round circle all while having characters be of different shades and personalities for the completion of a rather sincere story tale.. Authors intent stayed true to such a purpose. I thought.
 

Rolae

Padawan Learner
First chapter: Int•eres•ting
"Someone To Wed", reads as if it's nonfiction. For how can such a story of more than two thousands words be made out of nothing and kept sensiblly maintained and presented with such details through a sequential writing. I could never just make up a story of any sort. Would be clever and witty to name a nonfiction a fiction novel and surprise. Hope that's not a spoiler.
 

Konstantin

Ambassador
Ambassador
FOTCM Member
Yesterday I finished the third book in the Mackenzie Series "The Many Sins of Lord Cameron (Mackenzies Series Book 3)"

We could never tell if other people have some traumatic stories in their lives. The main character in this book has a lot of traumas in his life. Then he meets a woman that is non-conventional in her behavior and brave enough to fall in love with a man out of her class.
It is interesting to see how this romantic relationship helps the main character to go through his earlier traumas and have a final release of most of it. It is especially noticeable in the last part of the book.

No expectations, just let the universe to manifest its full potential You just have to make choices. when you face them. Not with fear or anger. Just with an open mind and heart, faith in the process and in the universe, and love and cares for people you love. That will help a person to develop his full potential.

I just have these thoughts/conclusions / feelings after I finished the book. This was a good one also. Going to the next in the series.
 

Laura

Administrator
Administrator
Moderator
FOTCM Member
First chapter: Int•eres•ting
"Someone To Wed", reads as if it's nonfiction. For how can such a story of more than two thousands words be made out of nothing and kept sensiblly maintained and presented with such details through a sequential writing. I could never just make up a story of any sort. Would be clever and witty to name a nonfiction a fiction novel and surprise. Hope that's not a spoiler.

I hope you read carefully, and consider well how words are put together by a good writer and can begin to emulate such clarity of thought and word in your own communications.
 
Top Bottom