Title: Animating Maria
Author: M. C. Beaton
Narrator: Lindsey Nettleton
Format: Hardcover, Paperback, eBook and AudioBook
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Audio Publisher: AudioGO
Length: 5 hours, 19 minutes
Source: AudioGO via Audio Jukebox
Genre: Regency Romance
Series: The School for Manners, #5
Stars: Overall: 5 Narration: 5 Story: 5
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About the Book:
Maria Kendall is stunningly beautiful, impeccably mannered, effortlessly graceful – in short, a perfect candidate for marriage. Thus all of polite London society is astonished that she is the latest charge of Amy and Effy Tribble, eccentric spinsters specializing in making matches for unmarriageable misses. But when Maria’s suitors – among them the roguish and exceedingly aristocratic Duke of Berham – meet her vulgar and boorish parents, proposals of marriage invariably vanish. Now the Tribbles face their greatest challenge – taking on, not only Maria, but the hopelessly common Kendalls as well.
This was a cleverly plotted story full of humor and clever insets of the Regency era as the Tribble sisters groom their latest charge, Maria Kendall for marriage to a gentleman of London Society. Lindsey Nettleton narrates the story, with her pleasant voice and range of English accents that served to depict the characters with intonation and speech patterns specific to their station in life. Particularly effective and interesting was the two voices of Amy Tribble: one proper for all manner of society, the other prone to frank speech peppered with invective and characterized by a far coarser accent than would be expected from a woman of her station.
M.C. Beaton is obviously comfortable and quite skilled in the Regency era – from clothing and slang to social custom and norms, this story transports to the time, while managing to present characters that while often are extreme examples of their class, are well done and entertaining nonetheless.
Particularly intriguing and enjoyable is the author’s clear sense of humor: when Amy loses her temper and delivers a tongue lashing, the combination of epithets and insults thrown are laugh out loud funny. Maria is cleverly drawn, with a penchant for daydreams and a determination to escape her bossy and overpowering parents. At the heart, this is a romance that spends much time with the couple ignoring or denying the attraction between them before the inevitable happens with a little push from an unlikely source.
A story that will entertain and brighten a trip or an afternoon, this volume was a good introduction to The School of Manners: not being familiar with the other books in the series did not affect my enjoyment of this book, and I look forward to the other instalments in the series.
I was provided an eBook by AudioGo via the Audio Book Jukebox review program for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.