Happy holidays! My reading celebration of the day involves re-reading one of my very favorite Christmas-set novels, The Mischief of the Mistletoe. Still delightful on a third read, still one of my favorite romantic couples!
The Mischief of the Mistletoe by Lauren Willig is set in Regency England, what I can only think of as Jane Austen’s England. Jane herself is in the book as a supporting character, as the sympathetic friend of our heroine, Arabella. Arabella is the lead character of the book, but has clearly been a supporting character all her life. A shy, unassuming wallflower, she’s the one at the party whose name no one can remember. I have a soft spot for characters who think they’re unimportant. I love watching them discover their inner depths and come into their own, and I loved watching Arabella find new strength and confidence. Here we have the extra bonus of watching the other lead, Turnip, also discover Arabella’s value.
Reginald “Turnip” Fitzhugh…where to begin? The name, I suppose. I can’t tell you how much I love it that the hero has a vegetable for a nickname. And not even a tough vegetable (I don’t know what vegetable would be tough–asparagus spears, maybe?–but I’m pretty sure turnips are not the heavyweight champions of the vegetable world). It fits him–and he’s a wonderful character! Endlessly well-meaning, charming and gallant, not a brilliant intellect, capable of throwing a punch when the situation calls for it, but not really all that good at derring-do and dashing exploits, frequently bumbling, very thoughtful, given to outlandish waistcoats. Somehow, it works so well and is so much fun. I love dashing heroes, but this time I really enjoyed a hero who stumbles more than he dashes–but rushes forward anyway, well-intentioned and grinning. Continue reading “Classic Review: The Mischief of the Mistletoe”