‘A lady should never feel anxious about her behavior. The status is bred in the bone. To show anxiety is to lower oneself. Anxiety is vulgar.’
All girls grow up hearing stories of princesses in the guise of a fairy tale – Cinderella’s glass shoes, the pea lost amid a pile of mattresses, the evil beast in an aging castle. And all girls hear the stories of the valiant man who saves the poor princess/maiden from their dull lives. Eloisa James took these long-shared stories, gave them her own personal twist, but most especially changed one plot point – her heroines don’t need saving.
Now these books are, of course, what they are – whimsical and, at times, wicked tales from dear Eloisa – that don’t cause internal need for change or deep existential thought, but rather a few hours of happiness, laughter, and removal from absolute harsh reality.
Although all of the stories were very satisfying, of the four books – ‘A Kiss at Midnight’, ‘When Beauty Tamed the Beast’, ‘The Duke is Mine’, and ‘The Ugly Duchess’ – my favorite read was story #2 where beauty, Linnet, tames the mean old beast, Piers. In contrast, my least favorite was ‘The Ugly Duchess’ but I fear that is only perhaps because I saw too much of myself in the strict and neurotic – yet ultimately lovable – heroine and thus, ended up worrying if I was too much like Daisy to really lose myself in her story. What can I say, everyone, even a girl way past the age of playing princess, sometimes just enjoys a good fairy tale.