Once again Perry has pulled me into her world. She gave puzzle pieces, clues, to solve the unknown picture. I thoroughly enjoyed how she left me hanging at the end of The Face of A Stranger, the first book in the Monk series. I had to know what was going to happen to Inspector Monk so I followed him to A Dangerous Mourning. Only now, she has me even more fascinated with Hester to boot!
I am very drawn to the main characters Monk and Hester. They have such admirable qualities. They are witty and do not hesitate to share their opinions. They always seem to handle situations wonderfully. Never sacrificing themselves for someone else. Always aware of their thoughts and how to best handle the people and the circumstances they are in. Receptive to others personality and emotions as they speak to them. Characteristics that many would be fascinated with.
I enjoy how Perry speaks of customs and social norms. Especially those pertaining to women. How women were meant to be gentle, fragile beings sitting pretty doing needle work. I wonder if there were a great many more women in that era that were like Hester, wanting more from life, wanting to make a difference.
I am curious about how she unfolded the story, laying out her clues. I deciphered early on that there was something in the story that had to do with Octavia’s husbands dying in the war. The night of her death she told her Uncle, Septimus, that he would understand better than anyone else. The only major quality that was shared about Septimus was that he had been unable to spend his life with the woman he loved. So I was left wondering when Monk would investigate Octavia’s husbands passing. Yet, I suppose a man dying in the war was nothing much to investigate. Even more so, what could she possibly have in common with her Uncle. Who would think to tie these two concepts in real life when there is so much else going on around them. I guess it may have been a dead end, no pun intended. Yet, I felt very pleased, watch me as I stroke my ego, that I had suspicions about this part of the story and was glad to see that it played out in the end.
I was also keen on the characters behaviours and declared who the murderers were before there was any proof. I knew who was responsible but had no idea why. I feel proud that I deciphered Perry’s code … well part of it.
Closing the book and laying it on my night stand I returned my head down to my pillow, to reflect on the story, the world that I just left. As the day crept on I noticed a new light inside me. An energy floating around. I was in a high all day. I am still feeling the side affects a day later. It inspired me to write, shook my muse awake as she has been sleeping for a few weeks, maybe months. I am not sure when I last saw her actually. It opened up a door for me and I believe it is because I saw my interests as well as messages, quotes, that spoke to me. It woke me up and revitalized me and I hope to hang onto this feeling as long as I can.
Her ability to wrap the reader into the lives of the characters as well as bring you into their perspective is most rewarding for any writer. For the characters are strong believers for every person to be themselves and pursue their interests yet recognize socially that is not acceptable in many cases. It is like a self-help book that snuck onto your book shelf. To see the characters determined to pursue their passions, to know their strengths and not let anyone, not even social pressures detour them from their path is most amazing. These characters could be real people out there.
Due to my desire to follow Monk and Hester I will be picking up the next book, Defend and Betray, in the very near future to stalk them on their next adventure.