Rating – 4.75 out of 5
The worst thing that a rich girl can do is fall prey to a fortune hunter. Or at least, that is what’s drilled into the head of Charlotte Baird, an heiress to a sizable fortune. As a headstrong, independent woman, Baird falls for the dashing Bay Middleton, who might not be all that he seems. Bay is thrust into the diplomatic position of being the pilot for Sisi, the famed Empress of Austria. Caught in a love triangle of epic proportions, will Charlotte and Bay work it out? Or are they doomed to always appear to the a rich young woman and a fortune hunter?
“Charlotte would have like very much to pick up one of the orchids from Sarawak and poke it into her future sister-in-law’s bulging blue eye, but she retained her composure by imagining her instead as an overbred Pekinese holding a parasol.”
– The Fortune Hunter, pg. 77
Why I liked The Fortune Hunter by Daisy Goodwin
I was a big fan of Downton Abbey and The Fortune Hunter reminded me of that aesthetic. Rich houses, the finest intrigue and the best of English sensibilities. Most of the novel takes place in country homes but London and a particular raceway also give the a rich settings for the main intrigue. I most enjoyed the background characters for pure entertainment value. Much like in some Jane Austen novels, the rich men and women surrounding the London social scene were beyond ridiculous. While Bay and Charlotte are fine characters they are not particularly deep or interesting beyond their ability to carry interesting dialogue about those surrounding them.
The reason I have now enjoyed a few novels by Goodwin is because of her ability to suck the reader in and bring them along on the journey. Her characters are only new in their quirks and her story lines are age old, but her story telling ability is what makes her standout. I want to know what is going to happen next, even when not much is happening. Will, in this case, Bay and Charlotte be able to come out at the end together? Will the any one of the characters actually get what they want? How will this story resolve? Where as with so many other novels of this genre, I can barely make it through 200 pages, I was through this thick novel and wanting more.
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