Top positive review
Wodehousian My Fair Lady
24 November 2015
Penelope Fairweather is a country girl who is forced to debut in London. According to the dowager of Blackthorn, Penelope has all the refinings of a goat, which incidentally happens to be Penelope's pet. The whole My Fair Lady of transforming her into a lady takes place under the watchful eyes of Madam Bellafraunde, who is in fact a man.
Penelope isn't an easy subject to transform since she tends to ramble like an idiot whenever she's nervous which unfortunately is always given the pressures of pretending to a lady of high class. She makes a number of gaffes - spilling her drink on the revolting dress of Lady Anne's beau, tearing the silk trail of a hostess, getting chased by a cheetah, to name a few.
The Duke of Blackthorn, George Radclyff, wants to send the country bumpkin, Penelope back to Finnshire. He has objected to her presence inside his family home ever since she pinched his ears. She didn't endear herself to him by calling him a picaroon during dinner after getting throughly drunk. It's only his mother's promise to her late friend Grace (Penelope's mother) and his sister, Lady Anne's crocodile tears that stand between his goal of seeing the last of Penelope within the halls of Blackthorn.
With the Duke trying hard to evict her, and the Dowager intent on making her a Proper Lady, and Lady Anne wanting her help in getting hitched to Lord Poyning, Penelope bungles along in this Wodehousian-style novel to a very, very happy ending.
The book isn't stellar but it sure made the effort and at places it does really well. It was definitely fun and very reminiscent of the Blandings Castle series by P G Wodehouse.
I definitely want to read more of Anya Wylde for the sheer insanity of it all. The world could do with a healthy dose of Silliness. And what better topic is there to poke fun at than the perceived cosseted lives of the British aristocracy.