The Sound of Music meets Jane Eyre. Samantha Pendregast, woman with a past, is governess for uptight widower Colonel William Gregory's six rebellious daughters. She handles them, then takes on their father, a curmudgeon who's too proper to court his own children's governess.
This report prepared by Mary Honda
Avon, Sep 2002, 6.99, 384 pp.
In 1837 Lady Adorna rescued Samantha Pendegrast from life on the streets of London. For three years the grateful Samantha tried to model her behavior after her mentor while becoming a self-sufficient employee of the Distinguished Academy of Governesses. However, within three years Samantha concludes you could take the gal off the street, but you can't take the street out of the gal.
In 1843 Adorna censures Samantha for her latest incident though the latter championed the mistreated from their odious patriarch. Coupled with other incidents and Samantha's reputation as a pickpocket, Adorna exiles her charge to the Lake District countryside to serve as governess to Colonel William Gregory and his twelve and under six children.
While struggling to adapt to the country, Samantha enjoys her wild bunch charges. However, she is attracted to William though he treats her and his daughters like they are in his regiment. The Colonel admires Samantha's courage to challenge his behavior towards his family and her fortitude to survive her rustic adventure. However, besides country vs. urban, their histories pop up when items are stolen leaving love doomed to fail.
Place Eliza Doolittle after the Higgins' transformation in the middle of the Sound of Music and relocate to the English countryside to understand MY FAVORITE BRIDE. Readers will enjoy this Victorian romance due to the characters as the audience will adore Samantha and the six children and even feel for the soldierly William. Though a subplot involving espionage adds intrigue that sidebar also takes away from a strong tale in which the hills are alive with the sound of Christina Dodd.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner