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I loved the book but was very disappointed with the audible. The narrative was completely different and made the characters very different to the first book, giving each character a very different accent and therefore a very different social standing.
The girls at Harper's Emporium are back with joys, challenges and other changes in this second novel LOVE AND MARRIAGE AT HARPER'S by Rosie Clarke. I haven't read the first book but despite this I don't think I missed out on a whole lot as this one begins with what appears to be a whole new story.
However, having said that, I may have enjoyed it far more had I read the first one and was introduced to the characters and watched them come into themselves. As it was, I felt a little complacent about this one and couldn't connect to the girls, who I felt were a gossipy bunch where nothing much happened except go to work, catch the bus home and sit around the table chatting. The only character I felt more of a connection with was Aunt Helen - I can't remember whose aunt she was - and her dire marriage to gold digger, Gerald. In my opinion, not much took place but the women's suffragette movement, which is not really a topic that interests me.
The girls - Rachel, Beth, Sally and Maggie - enjoy their work at Harper's Emporium on Oxford Street which is busier than ever and each of them are kept bustling all day long. The girls now share a flat together though each has their own life outside of each other. The suffragette movement is in full swing with the imprisonment of Emmeline Pankhurst as the girls discuss and decide if they support the Women's Social and Political Union or just remain with the Women's Rights Movement.
Meanwhile, store owners Ben Harper and his sister Jenni are in New York leaving Mr Stockbridge in charge, and Sally managing the buying of new stock for the store. Sally had harboured a secret crush for Ben Harper but as he has not contacted her since being away, leaving that to his sister Jenni, Sally believes the interest he had shown her previously has now waned.
There is love and romance for each girl in one way or another and yet it just didn't hold my interest as I thought it might. The premise sounded promising but the story just failed to deliver for me. It's a shame as Rosie Clarke's Mulberry Lane series is a delight to read. I guess maybe it's just this series that I just can't connect with. Maybe I will go back at a later date and try again...and find then that I may be pleasantly surprised.
LOVE AND MARRIAGE AT HARPER'S is a light read that one may may or may not find addictive, depending on the individual. Having said that, I do recommend for fans of historical fiction and sagas.
I would like to thank #RosieClarke, #NetGalley and #BoldwoodBooks for an ARC of #LoveAndMarriageAtHarpers in exchange for an honest review.