This post was written by Paige.
Graphic by Sharlene
Hello, Everyone! Did you enjoy the first few chapters of Pink X as much as I did? So much happened! This was not my first reread of this book, and I still found myself engrossed and discovering new things this time. I will keep myself focused on a couple of main things that I particularly love about this book.
The number one thing that captured my attention in this section was Miss Gwen. Specifically, the opening line of chapter one: “The spy wore purple.” That whole paragraph scooped me up and gripped me. “Only amateurs wore black. Miss Gwendolyn Meadows knew that the Paris night wasn’t a flat black, but a deep purple, comprised of a hundred shades of shadow.” I could read that a bazillion times. That was a perfect summary of my Miss Gwen and one of my favorite lines ever written. I am not the type to memorize passages from books, but that line is one that I will always remember. The first time I read this opening scene was likely when I knew Miss Gwen was my hero. She was Danger Girl, that Purple Parasol-Wielding Dragon. I loved her.
Then, when she returns triumphantly after evading pursuers by running through alleys, leaping off a balcony, and using her “cane” as a weapon, comes the hint that things may not be all well between Miss Gwen and her charge, Miss Jane Wooliston (known to a select few as The Pink Carnation). And we are given the glimpses of the practically unthinkable – that Miss Gwen was once not Miss Gwen, but a young attractive woman. Something happened that left her dependent upon her family. There is more to this adventurer Miss Gwendolyn Meadows than we know, and that is what we can bet on at this point.
The moment that Colonel Reid first meets Miss Gwen is one that I particularly enjoyed. Can’t you just picture her striding forward like an Amazonian queen, her voice ringing imperiously through the hall? There is no cute-meet for Miss Gwen and Colonel Reid. I have a feeling after getting to know him in these first few chapters that he wouldn’t have had it any other way. She is impressive, yet he is not overcome. He matches her wit for wit. Don’t you love the humorous banter? Who else would dare to wink at Miss Gwen? Who else would want to? Who else would scoff at her being old? Who else would see beyond her carefully cultivated persona? Oh, watch out for your heart, Gwendolyn Meadows. We are all cheering for this shrewd rogue!
Does it get any better than the hero flinging himself in the way of a carriage hurtling towards the heroine, throwing her out of the way of danger, and protecting her by using his own body as a shield? Heavens, no! And that is exactly what Colonel Reid does for Miss Gwen. Hooray, hooray, hooray! How could we do anything but love him? Gwen is already fighting her attraction, but it is inevitable. Yet, there is some backstory I want to find out about on his side, as well. Why does he feel so much as if he has made a bed that he must lie in? Why does he have such an assortment of children, with some being illegitimate?
Not to be outdone, in the modern storyline, Colin and Eloise are starting their search for the lost jewels of Berar, which legend says are hidden at Selwick Hall. What?! And they have to cooperate with the horrible and despicable Jeremy, who is both Colin’s cousin and step-father? Can there really be a Moon of Berar? Something bad has got to be slated to happen down the line. Jeremy is too awful for anything other than that to happen, right?
One of my favorite things about this book is the way that before each chapter there is a related excerpt from The Convent of Orsino, by A Lady. They are brilliant. Does anyone else want to read The Convent of Orsino? What a book. The chaperone is the real heroine of the piece. Sound like anyone we know? Maybe someone with a purple parasol?
What were some of your thoughts as you read this week? Happy Friday and have a great weekend!