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Shades of milk and honey
Mary Robinette Kowal
Adult Fiction KOWAL

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From Publishers' Weekly:

In Kowal's quasi-Regency fantasy debut, plain Miss Jane Ellsworth envies her sister's looks, while flighty Melody envies Jane's talent with magical glamour. Rude, mysterious Mr. Vincent, a brilliant glamour artist hired to create living murals in a nearby mansion, shows little interest in the niceties of society, and none (it seems) in Jane. As Jane shyly seeks Mr. Vincent's tutelage and approval, Melody pursues a disastrous romance. A sprinkling of Jane Austen's idiosyncratic spellings (shew, teaze, etc.) doesn't hide the lack of her trenchant wit or distinctive characters, and period errors abound. Despite the tremendous potential in the magical manipulation of light and temperature, glamour is used solely for decoration and entertainment, with implausibly little effect on history or culture. The story plods at a wooden pace until the climax, which achieves a sprightly comedy-of-errors froth. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

In this alternate history of a Regency England, a lady's chance at a good match improves with her every talent: good taste in the arts, a deft hand at pulling images from the ether, and proper conduct in polite society. Miss Jane Ellsworth was born with gifts of a keen artistic eye and creating mesmerizing glamours, but her sister, Melody, was born with the gift of physical beauty. In the end, which is truly the more desirable? A series of romantic misunderstandings, poorly expressed feelings, and purposeful deception lead Jane and Melody into a better understanding of their own views on the topic. Verdict Readers will be disappointed only when they finish this enchanting story, which is suffused with genteel charm. The author's judicious and effective changes to aspects of daily life clearly communicate how similar but different this world is from ours. With the grace of Sense and Sensibility, a touch of classic fairy tale magic, and an action-packed ending, this debut novel by an award-winning fantasy short story writer will appeal to fans of Jane Austen, Jane Yolen, Patricia Wrede, Susannah Clarke, and even Jasper Fforde.-Stacey Hayman, Rocky River P.L., OH (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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more titles about

main characters Jane Ellsworth
Female
Artisitic; searches for love.

Melody Ellsworth
Female
Blessed with beauty.



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