Lynn Gardner: A Cousinly Connexion


3.28.2014

A Cousinly Connexion


At eighteen Jane Ash fell in love with Edward Wincanton, an ensign in the Royal Navy. The youngest son of a local squire, Wincanton did not seem to Jane's father a suitable match for his only daughter. After some thought, for he was inclined to indulge her, Mr. Ash refused his consent to the match. Jane wept. Ensign Wincanton, his leave up, returned to his ship. Life went on.

Unlike several of her favourite heroines, Jane did not go into a decline, or join the Navy in the guise of a cabin boy, or sit mindless in a ruined tower twining jonquils into her tangled locks. As she was a sensible girl and fond of her father and brothers, she very soon entered again into their ordinary country pursuits. If she occasionally sighed without apparent cause or read the naval news with more eagerness than might have been expected in a female of tender years, her family were careful to take no notice.

A Cousinly Connexion was leant to me by a coworker who enjoys Georgette Heyer's Regency romances ever more than I do. She said it was a charming, thoroughly old-school Regency and she was right. A Cousinly Connexion is a sweet and rather delightful read. The novel begins with a nod to Persuasion and goes on to nicely subvert a few common Regency romance tropes in the form of The Absent Father, The Tulip, etc.

Simonson has a good grasp of Regency culture and history and I felt fully immersed in the time and the place. The characters, too, seemed born to the age -- a nice change from the many historical romance novels I've read where it seems the author thought it was good enough to put thoroughly contemporary people in period dress and let them fling themselves at each other. It never is (unless you've written something like Austenland, but that's a very different kind of romance).

Simsonson wrote five Regency romances and, while they're hard to find in print (my library system owns a paltry two), they are all available as ebooks from Uncial Press. Huzzah.

A Cousinly Connexion by Sheila Simonson (Amazon Digital Services, Kindle Edition)

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