The Adventures of Jane Waterford
The Adventures of Jane Waterford begins like any other romance, with a beleaguered heroine who plans to escape a wicked stepmother who, in turn, has plans to dispose of her stepdaughter. It continues in this vein until you think you know what is going to happen, and although yes, it does, it is the journey that is very different.
Well-written and beautifully researched, with elements of real history taken from Hansard, Ms Fisher’s novel is a delightful breath of fresh air. The heroine is not out solely to marry a Duke, as she enacts plans that do not involve romance or a man; and, unusually for a heroine in a romance novel, she is rounded enough to have her head turned by someone other than the accepted hero. The novel deals extensively with society and Irish politics but none of it feels forced or out of keeping with the multi-stranded plot.
Ms Fisher should be applauded for the fact that none of her characters are forgotten, beyond their usefulness to the plot, they still make appearances, or are mentioned, in the course of the novel – as they would in someone’s life. The characters themselves are realistic, well-written and believable, and none are irredeemable.
The only disappointment is that the author does neglect the full-on romance that is required, and she glosses over the emotional side of one of the characters in this respect. There is also a passage that probably needs the attention of an editor, as it is largely out of place and could easily be cut, involving the only character to appear from nowhere and vanish with barely a trace. Despite this, I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and I suspect I will revisit it to read again. Anyone who is looking for more substance in a romance will be enchanted with Jane Waterford and her duke.