Pink XI Week 3 in Review

This post was written by Dara.

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Hullingden, 1806: Sally arrives, amidst much gossip from the ton, at Lucien’s ancestral seat with Lady Florence Oblong, Mrs. Gwen and a trunk of billiard balls (well, as well as one can expect Mrs. Gwen and her billiard balls to be in tow) and is met by Lucien and his less than welcoming aunt.  After a tour of the grounds (in which we learn more about Lucien’s past) and dinner with his relatives (at which Mrs. Gwen decamps to her room for writing and Sally engages in a sporting round of Irritate Aunt Winfred), Sally convinces Lucien he really must make things right with his sister now that he is back in England to stay.   It does not go well.

While getting ready for bed in her Haunted Chamber (what castle is complete without one?), Sally hears footsteps in the wall.  Since ghosts do not have boots with which to stomp, nor do they tend to call her name, she heads off down the secret passageway (again, what self-respecting castle would be without?) to investigate  and finds herself in the middle of none other than Lucien’s bedchambers.

After a rather too long to be proper tête-à-tête, the two resume the search together and find a drunken Cousin Hal, who puts two and two together and comes to the conclusion of five, confesses that he was Fanny the actress’s protector and promptly passes out.

The two manage to haul Cousin Hal to Lucien’s room, share a steamy goodnight kiss, after which each assumes the other must be only playing their act of betrothal, Lucien escorts Sally to bed, hands her a pistol and returns to his room, leaving Sally to a bleak and sleepless night.

After a fruitless interview with Mrs. Gwen and an unsuccessful attempt to convince Lucien to contact the authorities about Hal the next morning, things do not appear rosier.  Each hurting and spoiling for a fight, the two have it out over the breakfast table and agree to announce their refusal to wed each other at the betrothal ball the next night.  Afterward, Lucien shares Hal’s confessions with his Uncle, who offers to smooth things over with Sir Matthew (who is intent of pinning the blame on Lucien) and tells Lucien to concentrate on his pretty fiancé.

These chapters are full of action, lovely witty dialogue and juicy bits.  What have you noticed in this reread that you didn’t notice before?  What is your favorite bit from this week’s reading?   I think mine is Sally torturing Aunt Winifred at dinner.

5 thoughts on “Pink XI Week 3 in Review

  1. I think my favorite part is Sally telling Lucien to “act like a Duke”. He has seemed a bit ‘runover’ by the relatives. I also like her taking on Aunt Winifred. This is my first read, but I am not thinking Uncle Henry is exactly on Lucien’s side.

    I also liked Sally’s conversation with Miss Gwen and the discussion about her book. I had to chuckle at Lauren’s witty literary reference on pages 320-321, beginning with Sally’s question, “Is there an old castle in the countryside all covered in vines?” And continuing with Miss Gwen: “Guarded by ten fearsome ghouls in two straight lines. In two straight lines they shook their spears, bared their teeth and pulled their ears.” MADELINE has always been a favorite of mine since childhood – “In an old house in Paris that was covered with vines lived twelve little girls in two straight lines. In two straight lines they broke their bread and brushed their teeth and went to bed.” These references are one of my favorite things about Lauren’s books.

    • Betty, this is a first time read for me too and I share your opinion about Uncle Henry not exactly being on Lucien’s side. He’s not someone I’m warming up to 😦 And yes, LOVED the Madeline reference!!

      • I loved the Madeline reference too. My elementary school had a declamation contest each spring in which we all had to memorize a poem- I still remember fourth grade’s The Owl and the Pussy Cat and seventh grade was Madeline, the others have gotten lost with everything else that has entered my brain since then.

        I had forgotten that Miss Gwen is still traveling with her billiard balls- a lovely reference to the previous book!

        And a Pink Carnation related story- I went to the Concord Bookstore in Concord, MA this afternoon to order my copy of Moonflower. The woman at the cash register took down my name and number and then observed that it was too bad she would be on vacation that week and couldn’t read my copy before I picked it up. We discussed the fact that it was the last of the series and then she asked if I thought Eloise and Colin would finally marry in this book. As to that, I don’t know, but we will soon find out!

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