Thursday, July 29, 2010

Book Review- Judith Mcnaught- Almost heaven

Judith Mcnuaght is a New York Times bestselling author. She has sold more than 30
million books and is a popular author among romance fiction readers.

Almost heaven was the first book I read by Judith Mcnaught. It was wondeful! Currently, it is the only one. But I will read more from her in the future.

Almost heaven falls under the historcial romance genre.

The female protagonist of this story is Elizabeth Cameron (lady) who is defamed and blacklisted by society when she is discovered in the arms of Ian Thornton, a gambler with a bad reputation. She meets him in her fiance's house and falls in love with him. He invites her to a secluded cottage and she meets him there. However, the next day she receives a note from him telling her to meet him the the greenhouse, when she meets him, her brother arrives and is infuriated at the sight of them. He challenges Ian Thornton to a duel and the news of the duel spreads throughout England. After the duel, Elizabeth's brother disappears and she spends two years in her her house paying off her brother's gambling debt.
However, she is unable to forget Ian Thornton.

Her uncle wants to marry her off so he gives her a list of three men to choose from. One of them is Ian Thornton! The other two are hopless. Elizabeth meets them one by one until the choices narrow down to Ian Thornton.
Her love for him is rekindled and she strives to improve her reputation as he strives to tell her the truth he is hiding from her.

The story is well plotted with very good humour and emotion. The book is five hundred pages long and therefore has a lot of story/plot. It begins from her present, moves into her past (flashback), somes to present and takes time to develop love. It progresses even after marriage.

The book immediately draws you in and is wonderfully paced. Over the considerably lomg length and enxtended stroyline, it maintains the reader's interest and never bores.

Judith Mcnaught's writing style is very good and she describes very detail well without boring the reader. Also, the emotion, gestures, love are depicted well. The book provides an accurate account of victorian society.

The heroine, unlike most romance novel heroines is strong. Some romance novelists make their heroine defiant and repulsive to make her seem strong but Judith Mcnaught doesn't do anything of that sort. The heroine is not unrealistically strong. She is intellectual and firm.

The hero is perfect as all heros are. Alluring, handsome, passionate, forgiving when it comes to love, persuasive, cold, ruthless, successful and faithful. He keeps up with the heroine and the story well. The charcterisation, especially the main characters, is good. Lucinda Throckmorton Jones, Elizabeth's chaperpon is a strong supporting character. Her vanity and fuss contribute to comedic relief.

The plot has lots of twists and turns but it is wasted on a romance novel where the reader knows that love will conquer all. There is no uncertainity or suspense just like any other romance novel. That is what this genre is famous for- happy endings.

The story develops well and does not appear forced, abrupt, rushed or unrealistic at any stage. The cover art is average. She could have made a better cover for such a wonderful book.



Writing style (easy to understand)


Length (500+ pages. It took me two days to read this novel. But it was worth it.)
Stererotype romance

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