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Review: "The Incomplete Amorist" by E. Nesbit

The Incomplete Amorist may be downloaded for free from our ebook catalog.

I had heard of Nesbit from her children's books, The Enchanted Castle being a recent publication on this site. I therefore recognized her name while browsing the romance section over at Feedbooks. Aside from the catchy title, I was further piqued by not finding a review of this book anywhere. And a look at Nesbit's Wikipedia article doesn't mention her writing for adults. This book had to be read.

And I'm glad it was. The Incomplete Amorist is not a children's novel, but neither is it overly adult. The novel centers upon four main characters and their romantic interactions. Betty Desmond is a pretty, naive girl ready to get into all sorts of trouble and cause her step-father and aunt endless worry. Then there's Eustace Vernon, the amorist himself, who means no harm but goes to great lengths to win the ladies just to appease his vanity. Nesbit mixes things up with Lady St. Craye, one of the amorist's many jilted lovers. And lastly Mr. Temple, who makes a clumsy first impression and is not very interesting or threatening...or is he?

If you're looking for a typical romance where you can see the end coming from miles away, you might just be frustrated by this one. The beauty of this novel is that you think you know what's going to happen, and several characters in fact lead you on in the wrong direction most unfairly. But keep in mind Nesbit has her own plans, and they're not necessarily bad or unpleasant ones.


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