Review: Longing

Longing by Mary Balogh
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Deeply Emotional Tale of Two People Socially Far Apart

“Such affairs are unequal things, are they not? All pleasure and convenience for the man, all danger and humiliation for the woman. And ostracism from a deeply religious community like this, I do not doubt. We will fight it, then, Sian. You are my daughter’s governess; I am your employer. I am the Marquess of Craille; you are — an ironworker’s granddaughter. Yes, we will fight it.”

THE STORY: Alexander Hyatt, Marquess of Craille, comes to Wales to see his assets which include a mine and ironworks. A widower with a daughter, he seeks a governess. Sian Jones has sought to belong. The illegitimate daughter of a local lord, Sian married a miner. Widowed and having lost her son, Sian works in the mines. When she meets Alexander, she is attracted despite herself and knows that taking the job as his daughter’s governess is a bad idea because she doesn’t intend on becoming the Alexander’s mistress.

OPINION: This is an complex romance that is deeply emotional. Alexander and Sian know from the beginning that there can be nothing lasting between them because of their stations in life. Sian especially is determined to be part of the community and pursues marriage to a local worker because she deeply wants to belong. Alexander’s arrival shows Sian an alternate possibility for her. She is divided between her two selves and she has two possible futures. A story about breaking rules and traditions and expections in both personal and social ways, LONGING is ultimately about bringing about the future you want.

Balogh writes very emotional and personal stories. While the characters have multiple challenges and their road is difficult, when the happy ending arrives, the reader knows that the joy has been won though hard work and sacrifice.

WORTH MENTIONING: This novel has an intense historical background and plot involving worker’s rights.

FINAL DECISION: I recommend this book for those looking for an intense, complex story with flawed individuals. This is an unique setting taking place in Wales.

CONNECTED BOOKS: LONGING is a standalone book.

STAR RATING: I give this book 4.25 stars.

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