The year is 1901, King Edward VII is soon to have his official coronation, and the Dilberne family is in a kerfuffle. Arthur Dilberne is good friend of the King and so caught up in preparations for the coronation, as is his wife, Lady Isobel. Their daughter in law Minnie is pregnant, ready to do her duty by providing an heir, and daughter Rosina is still being a political agitator. Meanwhile, sixteen year old, suddenly orphaned Adela, niece to Lord Dilberne, tired of having her fate arranged by others, takes her life into her own hands and goes on an adventure. And three invitations to the coronation have become an object of much contention and confusion.
This trilogy (which began with last years Habits of the House) is sort of like Seinfeld: the show about nothing. Very little seems to take place, but everybody is practicing their own little schemes and things that seem small take on great importance. Nobody is really a villain; nobody is really a hero. They are just people- wealthy people, for the most part but not all- being people at a time when great changes were taking place. But the books are written so well that I can’t put them down, and I eagerly await the third book.
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