Monday, February 11, 2013

Miss Billy's Decision (1912)

Miss Billy's Decision. Eleanor H. Porter. 1912. Dodo Press. 248 pages. 

Miss Billy is engaged to Bertram Henshaw. Their engagement has just been announced. But life gets busy and the couple struggles in their relationship. Bertram is painting the portrait of a young, wealthy, beautiful woman--very temperamental, always changing her mind on what pose suits her best. Billy is occupied with a handful of things: first, planning the wedding of Cyril and Maria (the music teacher); second, writing or composing her own songs for publication: this time with a partner, "Mary Jane" Arkwright; third participating or organizing an operetta for charity: if she can play matchmaker for two of her new friends, it would be great. Through the months, Billy feels that Bertram is too focused on ART and not focused enough on her, and, Bertram feels that Billy is too focused on MUSIC and not focused enough on him. Each feels let down by the other. Perhaps each feeling that love should be easy now that they're together and planning to get married. The couple begins to grow apart from one another--very gradually. 

At one point in the novel, Miss Billy struggles to make the decision that is "right" for everyone. She's been told by a certain someone that she is ruining Bertram's life, that the two would never--could never--be happy together. That it would be best for Bertram's career if he were to remain single. It's not like Billy has never had doubts about their future together. So Billy starts looking for signs to help her decide...

One might think that Bertram would be more developed as a hero, as a character since he is the love of Miss Billy's life. But. He still wasn't as developed as he might have been. I still feel that readers never really get a chance to know him. Readers spend MOST of the novel seeing Miss Billy and "Mary Jane" (M.J. Arkwright) together. He LOVES Billy and honestly doesn't know that she's already engaged. And they have so much in common, at first glance. She's great at writing music; he's great at writing lyrics. Readers know that he loves her, but, does she love him in return?

I did enjoy this one more than Miss Billy.


Read Miss Billy's Decision
  • If you enjoy Eleanor Porter's writing style; she's VERY readable
  • If you enjoy light/clean romance
  • If you enjoy reading classics
  • If you're looking for vintage 'new adult' titles
© 2013 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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