Patience and Esther: An Edwardian Romance

by Sarah Winifred Searle

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was an extremely sweet story that touched on a lot of social issues that are still relevant today. The romance aspect was cute and steamy with very likable characters. I do wish that the story expanded a bit more on what was going on around the main characters. A lot of stuff was touched on that seemed to have a lot of importance, but at the same time didn’t really feel like it was touched on enough. I do understand that the relationship was the main focus of the story, but the social and political issues were shown to also have an impact on them so I feel they needed more presence in the narrative. It just made things feel a bit rushed even though the story actually does take place over the course of a number of years.

All My Thoughts

May contain spoilers.

I almost feel like I need to review this one from two completely different angles. As a romance, it was incredibly sweet with just the right amount of sexy. I also really liked that the relationship side of things didn’t really have much drama to deal with. The major drama for this story actually comes more from the social aspect of the story.

Here’s where the books problems come from. The author introduces a lot of outside factors into their lives. Race, class, and gender are very prominent and serve as the major backdrop to the story. While these are extremely important and relevant topics to have, especially given the time period, I don’t exactly think they were handled well. They never really felt resolved. Most specifically the racial issues. These were so heavy handed with the comments Esther got from ignorant people and the fact the she wasn’t able to embrace her own culture through most of book. When Patience finally did speak up for her the singular time it felt extremely lackluster. This seemed like it was supposed to be a significant moment, but it got so little attention and then never really came up again. I was pretty disappointed in this. The class and gender complications also didn’t get much of a climax.

I think this was an issue because there where some significant time jumps in the story. Again I know their relationship was a focus and these jumps were intended to showcase that development. This sadly led to the next big issue I had. The story ends with them getting married which was fantastic and I loved seeing that they had a support network, but the fact that her mother was present without ever getting to see her before that point was jarring. Esther mentions wanting to get her there to visit them at some point in the story but we never see her until that moment and it isn’t presented as if it is the first time she is there to see them both together. This was not a well used time jump at all.

This book does have an additional short “what if” story included after the conclusion. It is a short about them living in the modern era instead. It was very cute and I actually enjoyed the fact that it tackled a very really relationship issue. It was cute and I loved seeing how they fixed their communication issues.

Overall

This was a cute period romance that had really nice art. It tries to do a lot with it’s story that doesn’t exactly follow through in a clean way, but still worth a read.

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