It’s Time for a little confession: I love this book. There is nothing like snuggling up with a blanket, a cup of tea and a really good novel on a rainy day, don’t you agree? Brighter Than The Sun serves this purpose perfectly. It’s a light, bright and (coincidentally) sunny read. Even better, it’s sure to cheer you up when the weather is grim, and really, what more could you ask for? This is the first book I read by Julia Quinn and before I started it, I don’t mind admitting I was a little sceptical. I’m very picky when it comes to historical fiction as it’s so easy to get it horribly wrong but Quinn avoids this. The reason is that her heroine, Eleanor, is so engaging. She’s sufficiently modern minded to make her identifiable, but is equally endowed with enough Regency England morality to make her fit the setting well enough to keep me reading. I’m not sure about you, but for me this is a really hard balance for authors to get right. I get really annoyed with this genre when the time period is just used as an excuse for the words “Rake” and “The Season” to be thrown in and then conveniently forgotten. Plus the writing is funny, well paced and, crucially, the interplay between Eleanor and Charles makes you really root for them. The two of them are really equally matched; Charles is demanding but Eleanor is no pushover and what’s really nice is the way both characters seem to learn from each other.
At a push you may be forced to admit that the idea of a man falling from a tree and immediately proposing marriage is a little bit ridiculous, but I can forgive Quinn if you can. There’s enough motive on both sides of the match to make the haste if not totally realistic, at least understandable and quite frankly is an Earl fell out of a tree and proposed to me, I’d at least consider it! Additionally, what’s nice about Julia Quinn’s novels is that her characters often reappear in other stories; one of my favourite things is to spend half an hour imagining the afterlives of characters and Quinn really taps into this in a subtle enough way not to detract from other stories. Obviously if you are looking for a book that really stretches all the boundaries, this is never going to be it; but if you are looking for a nice book to spend a rainy Sunday afternoon with I can’t think of better one. What do you think? What’s your favourite rainy day read?