Book: The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Orczy
For: Book Club
From: book club set from the library
Way back about nine years ago I read this for the first time as one of the first books this book club read! (Actually, in looking at my list, it WAS the very first book!) And now we've come full circle and read it again! I loved it then, and I loved it again.
It's the story of a British guy and his buddies who have taken it upon themselves to help rescue people who have been sentenced to die by the guillotine during the French Revolution, specifically during the Reign of Terror. In order to not be discovered and caught, he masks his true personality by acting like a crazy fool. Despite this, he has married a lovely (and smart?) French actress. They were quite in love at the first, but since then he has had cause to lose his trust. They are estranged and it makes them both sad... and the lady (Marguerite) is baffled as to why.
This is the story of how she discovers many interesting things about her fool of a husband, Percy, and gets herself needlessly involved in a rescue!
I love it because it's a fast-paced, intriguing yet easy-to-read story. I love the drama and the excitement. I love the romance that's there, but not there. I love the character of Percy, how he is first one way and then another. I love the time period and the setting. I love the movies and musical that have been based on this story.
Bottom line: It's a fun enjoyable story, and I love it.
Book Club's Thoughts:
We didn't have a whole lot to say about the book at book club! Everyone (most everyone!) seemed to enjoy it and read through it quite quickly. The main consensus was that the character of Marguerite was very unlikable and that her place in the story is a mystery, that she served no purpose. It was mentioned that while reading it, you didn't really think about that, but afterwards it hits you that she is quite the drama queen and really does the story no good. Well, except for the romance part of the story of course!
We talked about how there are many "sequels" with the Scarlet Letter character and his other adventures. I hadn't realized this and it makes me want to check those out and see what they are like!
True, it veers dangerously close to being a romance novel, but there are adequate numbers of buckles being swashed and swashes being buckled that I'm still terming it "historical adventure." From Collateral Bloggage
I do remember that I loved the romance and the action of this tale based loosely on the French Revolution. I was still spellbound by the romance and drama of it all. From BooksPlease
One of the things wrong with this book: Marguerite. What a useless character! She was used as a plot device. There was all this set up like she might actually be of some help but she never was. So freaking infuriating. From Alternate Readality
I enjoyed the book, it had a very lovely flow to the writing, that made it easy to get lost in the book, not to mention the character, the Scarlet Pimpernel, was a fun character to read about and root for, making for a very enjoyable read. From Jules' Book Reviews
Here's a fun scene from the musical, though the sound is a bit off.