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The Cherished Wives (1994)

door Valerie Anand

Reeksen: Bridges Over Time (5)

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Fifth novel in a series which traces the Whitmead family from before the time of the Magna Carta, through the Restoration to the early 19th Century. This episode begins in the 1740s with the marriage of Lucy Anne Whitmead to her cousin, George Whitmead, a tyrant. While he is in India, representing the East India Company, she has an affair and gives birth to a boy whom she gives up for adoption. In the next generation, Lucy's legitimate son marries and his wife, too, discovers she wed a tyrant.… (meer)
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The story of the Whitmead family of England continues in this fifth of six books known as Bridges Over Time. George Whitmead, a merchant with the East India Company returns home to find a bride and settles on second cousin Lucy-Anne. George, a pompous over-bearing windbag who thinks women should be "cherished" and protected, brings Lucy-Anne to his country estate with his mother as chaperone. Once settled in with strict rules about allowable social engagements he leaves his bride and returns to India. Lucy-Anne does well managing the estates and its tenants, but loneliness takes her on an unexpected path and that brings life-changing consequences.

The story continues as George returns from India for good, albeit a bit mad at times, although his son and heir Henry refuses to acknowledge it. Henry is much like his father and treats his wife and daughters the same way "cherishing" and protecting them from the outside world, although his daughter Sophia chafes at the restrictions and almost brings herself to near ruin as a result of her attempt at freedom.

While I did enjoy parts of this book, especially the early parts of Lucy-Anne's marriage, others were quite slow paced and sluggish. I think one of my main problems keeping interest is there just aren't any likeable characters in the last two books - but not bad enough that you love to hate them either. Just meh. I'm still going to try and get a hold of the last in the series, The Dowerless Sisters; mainly because I'm hoping she'll tie the Whitmeads and the family device of a bridge over the river with the unknown distant relatives in Normandy from the first book. Only recommended for die-hard Anand fans or those who do want to read the entire series, but I do not recommend it as a stand-alone. 3/5 stars.

The series in order,

The Proud Villeins
The Ruthless Yeomen
Women of Ashdon
The Faithful Lovers
The Cherished Wives
The Dowerless Sisters ( )
  Misfit | May 10, 2009 |
The whole Bridges Over Time series is great and would appeal to anyone who likes Edward Rutherfurd's sagas of families across the centuries and how they change and interact with historical events. Why are these books so difficult to track down? ( )
  john257hopper | Aug 22, 2006 |
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Fifth novel in a series which traces the Whitmead family from before the time of the Magna Carta, through the Restoration to the early 19th Century. This episode begins in the 1740s with the marriage of Lucy Anne Whitmead to her cousin, George Whitmead, a tyrant. While he is in India, representing the East India Company, she has an affair and gives birth to a boy whom she gives up for adoption. In the next generation, Lucy's legitimate son marries and his wife, too, discovers she wed a tyrant.

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