This post was written by Paige.
Hello, fellow Pinkophiles! I am going to make a wild guess that like me most of you have spent hours reading through all of the great things on Lauren’s website. I was recently looking at some of the Plumeria features again and one of the things that tickled my fancy was the “Ask Miss Gwen” post where Lauren encouraged readers to submit questions that they would like to ask Miss Gwen. The post was written prior to the publication of Plumeria, and I find it fun to read the questions now in retrospect. So many of the questions were addressed either in the body of the storyline or were incorporated into the Readers Guide at the end of the book – “An Interview With The Author of the Convent of Orsino or How Not to Interview Miss Gwen.”
It is a good reminder of how much we learned about Miss Gwen in this novel and how differently our perceptions of her were in the first nine books. It also highlights Lauren’s authentic and generous interactions with her readers. The published “interview” in the guide is amazing perfection. It isn’t a surprise that Lauren is clever and witty, but the interview is entertaining and perfectly channels Miss Gwen. We laugh and learn a lot from this interview. I am sure that it is difficult to write something that seems so effortless and is so spot-on.
Personally, the reticule grenade section was particularly enjoyable for me. I also enjoyed hearing Miss Gwen tell why she has a penchant for purple. The reason is so obvious that I should have known all along; I have heard of “imperial purple” and I can’t imagine her settling for a color of lesser rank. I intentionally used the word “hearing” because I did clearly hear this interchange between Miss Gwen and LW as I was reading. It was a perfect script. This was my kind of Reader’s Guide!
One of Miss Gwen’s responses particularly struck me. In her Miss Gwen way, she pronounced, “Any man can wield a length of steel. So few can turn a proper phrase.” Does this not describe Colonel Reid as well as the basis of their mutual attraction? Although she was referencing herself, I am absolutely struck by how appropriate that describes Colonel Reid. Both Gwen and William have shown without a doubt that they can wield a length of steel and turn a proper phrase.
On the human-interest front, Miss Gwen neatly avoided directly answering the question of whether there had been anyone in her life between Timothy Fitzgerald and Colonel Reid, but she did state that a lady never seduces and tells. And how about that mention by LW of the strange rumors about Miss Gwen and Talleyrand? This certainly opens up the possibility that Miss Gwen, with her penchant for disguises, may have used flirtation and feminine wiles for the good of the cause. At least, that is what I think, but how about you?
Did any of you happen to have responded to that original post on Lauren’s website asking for questions? Now that we know more about Miss Gwen, are there any questions you wish you could now ask her in a follow-up interview (and do you have any guesses on how she would answer those questions)? I have to wonder if she would repeat her jumping on the settee in Madame Oprah’s salon, or whether Miss Gwen would deign to ever do another interview.
On Friday we will have a recap and discussion of chapters 13-19. Have an enjoyable week and happy reading!