The Bachelor List
Bantam, 2004 (2004)
Reviewed by Rashmi Srinivas
he three Duncan sisters - Constance, Prudence and Chastity - are known to London society as eccentric but very respectable ladies. Secretly and without the knowledge of their indulgent father, they also publish a newsletter, '
The Mayfair Lady
', considered scandalous for its radical views encouraging women's rights. The newsletter isn't just a vehicle for the sisters' progressive views; it also supplements their dwindling finances.
nfortunately popularity brings the publication to the notice of the government, and rising politician Max Ensor becomes interested in its antecedents. Max soon meets the three Duncan sisters, but although he suspects them of involvement with the broadsheet, he has no proof. The spirited and acerbic Constance objects to Max's chauvinistic, antagonistic attitude towards women's emancipation. Before long the two of them are waging a fierce war of wits and words, and feeling a strong sexual tension. They become lovers, but is there a happy ending in sight for an acrimonious duo who hold opposite and rigid views?
hough the time period isn't mentioned, automobiles and women's suffrage place it somewhere between the late 1800s and the early 1900s. Women are fighting to get recognition as responsible citizens worthy of the right to vote, while the dominant male society strongly resists change. The inevitable conflict is fun to watch Constance and Max battle it out, as the same qualities which stand them on opposite sides of an argument also lead to attraction between them. Is it love or lust, which they share? You'll have to read
The Bachelor List
to find out. This sparkling tale begins a trilogy, with Prudence's story next in March 2004.
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