In brief: Hyacinth Bridgerton is all grown up and she’s the smartest and most outspoken Bridgerton of them all. Will she meet her match in Lady Danbury’s grandson Gareth?
The good: Hyacinth is a riot!
The not-so-good: The second last in the series!
Why I chose it: I’m reading all the Bridgerton novels in preparation for the new seasons of the TV series.
Publisher: Avon Books (Harper Collins)
Rating: 10 out of 10
For those familiar with the Bridgerton TV series, Hyacinth Bridgerton is a little girl who doesn’t have much of an impact on the story of her brothers and sisters. But for readers of the books, Hyacinth has been more and more interesting as time goes on. She’s more outspoken than Eloise, but as feminine as Daphne. She’s also incredibly clever, so much so that her tongue is feared by many. (To illustrate Hyacinth’s wit further, Lady Danbury, Queen of the Dry Wit, fully supports and enjoys Hyacinth’s observations). But this wouldn’t be a Bridgerton story if there wasn’t romance and a wedding. This time, it’s Hyacinth’s turn.
Hyacinth has already turned down several marriage proposals by the time the story starts. Her intelligence means that she finds a lot of people boring, which is why she spends time reading to Lady Danbury once a week. (They read scurrilous romance novels). Hyacinth has always been aware of Lady D’s grandson Gareth, but now he needs her help. Gareth is of course a rake, but just as intelligent as Hyacinth. (Except that he doesn’t read Italian, which is why he needs Hyacinth’s help to translate his grandmother’s diary). The diary has Gareth and Hyacinth on the trail of some hidden jewels, made all the more complex by their need to break into Gareth’s father’s house to track them down. Of course, they find they have much more in common than adventure…
Hyacinth’s story is a total riot. It has everything you expect, plus all the nameless things you didn’t know that you wanted. (Like climbing through windows in the middle of the night, some pretty bad music and even worse poetry). Gareth and Hyacinth are well matched when it comes to wit, so Julia Quinn’s sparkling dialogue gets a great run, plus the sparking comments from Lady Danbury are always a treat. There is also a cruel villain in Gareth’s bitter father and some sweet moments between Hyacinth and her mother Violet. Hyacinth is the star here though – she is outspoken, determined, stubborn and yet completely likeable. Gareth is a little flawed with a couple of odd choices, but his love for Lady D redeemed him in my eyes.
This might just be my favourite Bridgerton novel. Netflix had better commission this one!