Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Review: The Secret History of the Pink Carnation by Lauren Willig

Title: The Secret History of the Pink Carnation
Author: Lauren Willig
Genre: Historical Romance
Publisher: Bantam, 2005


The story begins in the present day: Eloise is an American academic in London to do research for her Ph.D dissertation and attempting to discover the identity of the Pink Carnation , a British spy of the Scarlett Pimpernel type active in Napoleonic France. Her opportunity comes when she is granted access to family papers by a descendant of the supposed Pink Carnation.

So the reader is transported back to Regency days and the life of Miss Amy Balcourt whose French father met his end at the hands of Madame Guillotine - a young woman determined to avenge his death by offering her services to helping the elusive Purple Gentian, successor to the Scarlett Pimpernel. Her chance comes when her brother writes and invites her to Paris and off she goes, accompanied by her cousin Jane and their parasol wielding chaperone Miss Gwen.

And the fun begins - which is what this book is all about. It's pure escapism, an historical romance with enough mystery , adventures and romance to keep it romping along at a cracking pace. At times it becomes like some ridiculous French farce but that is where its success lies - it's very, very funny! At least I thought it was. I particularly loved the conversations and could see and hear each of the characters in my mind acting out their parts.

Great fun and very entertaining......I enjoyed it!

Colourful Reading Challenge

Historical Tapestry ABC Historical Fiction Challenge

F is for France


  1. Nice review! I thought this book was very funny too. I am looking forward to reading the rest of the books in the series.

  2. Great review, and I do like funny. French farce, oh that is a must read

  3. I love this series!!! It is a great way to loose yourself in a book :)

  4. Checking up on what others thought I discovered quite a few reviews that weren't very positive. I think those people must lack a sense of humour. :-(

    I'm looking forward to reading more.

  5. I find this series to a bit uneven, or maybe it just depends on my mood, because whilst I really liked this one, I was a bit disappointed by some of the others. I still keep on reading the series though, and I have the latest book sitting on my TBR soon shelf.

    Good choice for F!

  6. I've seen these on other reviews and in the bookstore, but haven't yet given one of this series a go--might have to change that! Would you recommend this one over others in the series?

  7. Rowenna, I'd recommend this one but only because its the first of the series and I haven't read any of the others yet.

  8. I am glad you enjoyed this one! I have this one coming up to read for the Colorful Challenge. I am looking forward to it!