The Proposition by Judith Ivory
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This book is unusual, to say the least, but not in a bad way.
When I read the scene at the tearoom, where Mick and Winnie first met each other, I thought I was in the middle of a slapstick or a "cartoon-ish" farce and braced myself to read that kind of comedy. Then, Mick and Winnie started singing their lines in the garden and I thought, okay, it was a musical. Finally, when Mick showed Winnie how he caught rats, it was like watching an "Animal Planet" show. At that point, I decided to relax and simply enjoy the book with all its quirky antics.
This book is full of overlong descriptions and insights into Mick's and Winnie's minds, and that was distracting. At times, I had to go back a few pages to remember how the scene started and what they were talking about. BUT, strangely enough, that didn't bothered much because I was in the right mood for a slower-paced read.
I really liked Mick, one of the most unusual hero I've ever met. He was full of life, funny, loving and not one bit tortured. I thought Winnie was kind of snotty and cold at first, but she grew on me and I ended up liking her too. And when they finally made love, wow, it was so good to see them having fun with it. Winnie wasn't overly sensitive about it, which I found totally believable considering how old she was and what her role in society was. I mean, she was a Lady by birth, but she wasn't living like one and she didn't have any false hopes about it.
The HEA was a bit "over the top" (everything was "tidily wrapped with a pink bow"), but I liked it. It was in tune with the overall feeling of the book, a happy "fairy tale" with likeable characters.
This was my first book by Judith Ivory but I can already agree with readers that say she's an "acquired taste". Her writing isn't like any other author I've read. It worked for me in this book and I hope it works in her other books too.
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