A Willful Woman…

Thoughts about books from a romance addict.

DNF: The Arrangement by Mary Balogh

on October 19, 2013

I fear my relationship with Balogh’s books has hit a new low — my first DNF. 

I actually thought at first that I might enjoy this: it’s a Cinderella story, but the apparently mousy Cinderella has an edge to her. (She secretly draws pointed caricatures of everyone who mistreats her.) But then, oh God, people started talking to each other, and when people talk to each other in a Balogh book these days, I think I might as well throw away my Ambien prescription. They keep trying to be witty or profound or humane and they just bore me so much my ears bleed.

And Vincent, the blind hero… woof. I think Balogh is genuinely trying to write a depiction of a disabled character that is accurate and suitable to the time period, yet not offensive to modern readers, but if anything, she tried too hard. He feels right to me, inasmuch as I know anything about being blind, but the attitudes of all the other characters to him continually strike false notes.

I can’t imagine anything remotely interesting happening to this couple. They’re going to charmingly banter their way into the sunset surrounded by the other charmingly bantering characters of this series, and I not only feel no need to witness it, but don’t think I can even stand it. I made it to the 40% mark, which is probably closer to 50%, taking into account promos at the end. Enough.

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2 responses to “DNF: The Arrangement by Mary Balogh

  1. I finished the book, and can say that the last half was better than the first. My problem with the book is that there are entire chunks of dialogue where every time the hero opened his mouth, I kept hearing the voice Stephen Fry used when he played Winnie-the-Pooh.

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