Wednesday, April 20

Amanda McIntyre: The Diary of Cozette

From the back of the book-

True, I am but a mere maidservant from a great house, snatched from a wretched existence of poverty and desperation to serve noblemen of wealth and privilege.
And yet...
While I am indeed of lowly rank, I am also a young woman who allowed herself to sample life's greatest pleasures in the hands of these titled men. My tales overflow in this journal, penning my journey to becoming a woman of power of the most base, yet stimulating, breed.
Unmarried and twenty, yet betrothed to no man, I would be considered a spinster by most, yet this is of my own ardent intention. With my unabashed lushness and wisdom regarding a man's most vehement cravings, I am not lacking for suitors or proposals given in the heat of passion. No, I have yet to meet the man who will challenge me, satisfy me in all ways, not only of the flesh.
For where passsion and desire are fleeting, my heart continues to

In order to read this one has to come to accept the ideas that a low ranking ninteenth century woman is literate, articulate and willing to consciously break all of society's sexual conventions. If you can clear those hurdles then you have to face the story line which seems unrealistic and relies heavily on coincidence to achieve its happy ending. I refuse to suspend my disbelief just because this is an erotic novel.
The very thing that attracted me to this book (the presentation style of short diary entries) also made it very hard to connect with the characters in any meaningful way. We get only the briefest of glimpses into their world and very little insight into character motivation, the focus being instead on the sexual exploits of the main character. Of course, that's only to be expected in an erotic novel.
You'd be forgiven for thinking that I didn't like this novel but in fact I didn't mind it. The author writes well enough but the story is let down by no real sense of time and place, essential in an historical novel of any kind, and its superficial characters, really inexcusable in a diary.
I did like that the heroine got a happy ending even if it did feel contrived. So often the sexually independent woman comes to a bad end, it was good that wasn't the case here.-Lynn

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