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Feature book: Starling

2 September 2015

Starling_VirginiaTaylorStarling by Virginia Taylor

It takes a woman to make a man see sense. Starling has a fight on her hands to win over her man, especially against Lavender.

Starling Smith is a hard-working woman who wants to go places to get out of poverty. She is working in a new concept, a department store, in Adelaide. She is popular among the women as she can advise them on the correct fabric that suits them. After she is fired for being too efficient in her work, she receives a proposal. To become a pretend wife to her former boss for the duration of his sister’s visit to his home. Although she originally thinks that Alasdair wants her for other means, he manages to convince Starling to agree to be his pretend wife. And she will receive more than adequate compensation. Starling agrees to the arrangement as she has plans for the future and can use the money.

Alasdair Seymour is the owner of the department store. He desperately needs a ‘wife’ to combat his sister, who has told him she is bringing the perfect woman to be his new wife. But Alasdair only wants one woman, the woman who married another. When the visiting party arrive in Adelaide, Alasdair finds that the woman his sister is recommending is that same woman, Lavender, to become Alasdair’s wife.

Starling is just Starling and she finds that she is able to run the household and Alasdair’s life while he pines and pursues Lavender. Alasdair protects Lavender but doesn’t see the type of person she was or has become. As the story progresses, Starling sits on the sideline and watches the interplay between Lavender and others. And as we can expect Lavender turns out to be somewhat different and Alasdair finally realises her true personality. It is then that Alasdair finds that he needs Starling in his life.

This story is set in Adelaide in 1866. I was definitely taken through the streets of Adelaide as I was reading, which brought back many memories. It was really good to see a historical set in Australia and this one was an enjoyable read.

Reviewed by Heather

A review copy of this book was provided by the author.

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