Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Lessons in French

Laura KinsaleOne of my most highly anticipated swag snags at the Romance Writers of America's national conference this year was the excerpt booklet of Laura Kinsale's first book in five years.

Lessons in French by Laura KinsaleLessons in French (LIF, February 2010) is a humorous Regency-set historical in the grand tradition of Regencies of yore. At 480 pages, it promises to do substantive justice to the era.

A light, but emotional read—what Sourcebooks editor Deb Werksman calls "funny and poignant"—it is a significant departure from Kinsale's deeply moving stories that grab you by the throat and never let go till the last word.

And yet from the first two sentences, you know you are in talented hands.

"Lady Callista Taillefaire was a gifted wallflower. By the age of seven-and-twenty, she had perfected the art of blending into the wallpaper and woodwork so well that she never had to dance, and only her most intimate friends greeted her."

By the last sentence of page one, anxiety has set in as you realize this excerpt is only 18 pages long, you're going to get there in a jiffy, and then you're not going to know how you can wait another six months for the rest of the 462 pages.

Lady Callista Taillefaire "Callie"'s meeting with her first and only love of her life—despite three consequent betrothals and jiltings—Lord Trevelyan d'Augustin "Trev" in a public assembly room is everythng to be hoped for: romantic, wry, intriguing, nuanced, and funny.

Lessons in French promises to be another of the Kinsales to go down in history as a work admired deeply and discussed endlessly.