Together in one volume, Emily Eden’s The Semi-Attached Couple and The Semi-Detached House can best be described as the non-thinking woman’s Jane Austen. That sounds like a criticism, but it really isn’t. Please take that description at face value. Emily Eden is a contemporary of Austen and that really shines through in the plot of the novels. books are both very predictable, so I’ll give the briefest of plot overviews.
The Semi-Attached Couple concerns a young woman (Helen) who marries a self-absorbed ass (Lord Teviot) at a young age. He loves her and she loves her family and he is insanely jealous. Somehow it all ends very nicely and predictably.
The Semi-Detached House is a marriage plot novel. Young wealthy wife befriends lower-class family. Matchmaking and marriages occur and everyone is happy and paired off at the end.
There is one reason and only one reason to read both of the Eden novels: Emily Eden can write snobby, villainess like no-one’s business. Lady Portmore of the first book and – to a lesser extent – Baroness Sampson of the second novel are ridiculous. Gossipy, flirtatious, conniving, and wicked these women are a delight to read. They aren’t truly villainesses as they have no power over the plot, but it is amusing to read ridiculous quips.
On the whole I give the books three stars. I truly enjoyed the secondary characters and the books have some charm, but they lack the depth and artistry of Jane Austen.
~~~ Stats ~~~
Started: 02 January 2015
Finished: 15 January 2015
Pages: 543 (total, I combined both books)
Challenges: Virago Project #1, TBR #1, Back to the Classics – Humorous Classic
Owned/Borrow/Library: From my stacks
Stars: Three out of Five