In Sarah MacLean‘s novel The Season, Alex is about to make her debut in her first season, and she is no where near as excited as her mother is about it. This book, set in the Regency period, opens on Alex at a dress fitting, miserable as she has to hold still and be stuck with pins. The reader is soon introduced to her two best friends, Ella and Vivi, who are as independently-minded as Alex. The three of them follow the society rules – attending balls, acting like proper ladies – while still maintaining their sense of individuality – discussing books (their favorite is P&P, which was recently published anonymously), holding their own with Alex’s brothers, dreaming of marrying on their own terms – or not ever marrying at all!
Soon, the girls are caught up in a mystery involving the late Earl of Blackmoor and his son Gavin, who is struggling to grieve for his father while shouldering the adult burdens of being the new Earl of Blackmoor. Gavin is a life-long friend of Alex and her brothers, but Alex is confused, wondering why she cares so much for Gavin yet cannot stop bickering with him. This confusion helps keep her determined to solve the mystery surrounding the Earl.
The cover of The Season is what first caught my attention – the colors are eye-popping, and compliment the fast-paced story contained within. Alex is a spirited young lady; the reader will wish she could accompany Alex and her friends to a ball and catch up with the ladies in the corner to discuss their favorite books when not dancing with a brooding young man. The details of the time, such as the girls’ clothing, allow the reader to understand how constraining life was back them, whether MacLean writes of a corset or the possibility of having ones reputation ruined just because a young woman was seen speaking to the wrong person. By the end of the book, I was sad to see it end and hope that MacLean finds the time to write more about these young people. Not every storyline is resolved, and I have my suspicious just who Vivi dreams of marrying and would like to see if I am right!