Publication date January 29, 2013
Edition Mass Market Paperback
Growing up my mother loved the film Gigi, therefore by extension I loved the film Gigi and as an adult lover of historical romance, I still enjoy the film but now understand the nuances of the relationships between Gaston and Gigi which mimic Victoria Alexander’s characters in The Importance of Being Wicked.
This enchanting novel starts with Lord Stillwell’s ancestral home being ravished by fire and Lady Garret being ravished by the rules of society. What reminded me of one of my favorite films, and therefore had me reading until the early morning hours, was Lord Stillwell’s arrogance, staunchness and lovable naivety of the female kind which makes a great counterpoint to Lady Garret’s youthful innocence and confidence. The first of many of Lord Stillwell’s speeches against Lady Garret, “The Lady Garret of my acquaintance is determined and stubborn and entirely more outspoken than is seemly in a properly bred female.” This brought to mind Gaston’s tirades over Gigi. Not to leave out Lady Garret’s point blank verbiage “Lord Stillwell is a twit.”
There are many well thought out scenes where the characters are in counterbalance to each other. Alexander’s ability to meld two stubborn characters by entwining similarities and differences, confidences and self-esteem to bounce off one another is genius.
The Importance of Being Wicked was a joy to read, and almost irresistible to put down, because of the the freshness of the plot, relationships of the characters and momentum of the writing.