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wealhtheow

wealhtheow

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The Theory of the Leisure Class (Modern Library Classics)
Thorstein Veblen, Alan Wolfe
The Smile Of The Stranger - Joan Aiken Mr. Paget has spent a lifetime wandering around Europe writing histories, his young daughter Juliana in tow. But with his health failing, he is forced to return to his family home, thus affording Juliana her first sight of England. But there, Juliana is soon left to make her own way in Society, with little assistance from her relatives. Only two men are of any help: the dashing Captain Davenport and the plump smuggler Count Van Weckler. Will Juliana manage to navigate the treacherous waters of gold-hunting suitors and lecherous old men?

A fun book, with a relatable, believable heroine and an actual plot. I found the romance a bit lacking--I had the same problem with Aiken's [b:Mansfield Revisted]. Only pages from the end, the heroine accepts a proposal of marriage from a man she never showed much interest in before, while saying "of course I love you!" Um, since when? It's pretty clear that Juliana gets married because the exciting plot is wrapped up and Aiken knows the only proper end to a Regency is romance. I need to be sold on a romance--if they're going to marry each other, I'd like to see a few inklings of attraction beforehand.