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Reviewed by Ankita Shukla for Readers' Favorite
An Engagement of Sorts by Alene Wecker is a historical romance that features the limited choices available to a spirited young woman in the nineteenth century: school her emotions or risk spending the life of a social pariah. Anne Fletcher's untamed tongue and impulsive actions have made her mother believe that Anne will remain a spinster all her life. So, when Will, Anne's childhood friend, proposes to her, her mother gives her mission to see her daughter married at the earliest. However, Anne doesn't wish to get married to anybody, much less to someone she considers a brother. When her direct refusal doesn't dissuade Will from retracting his proposal, she makes a pact with him: "If you can convince my mother to take me to London for a Season, and if I do not become engaged while there, then I promise that when I return, I will marry you."The problem with this pact, however, was that she would have to put aside her reluctance to marry anybody to avoid marrying Will.
The influence of Jane Austen's work is evident in the dialogues and narration of the novel. Alene Wecker has infused the conversations with the same sophistication and wit as Pride and Prejudice. The mannerisms of the characters, too, reflect the same source of inspiration throughout the book. Despite these similarities, Alene Wecker has succeeded in keeping the story fresh. The characters have their unique personalities and eccentricities. Mr. Paling, the love interest of Anne, is no Mr. Darcy. He is a flirt whose intentions are very hard to decipher. His banters with Anne are clever and very well-written. Our heroine is equipped with a very sharp tongue and an unmistakable wild spirit. She is not a damsel in distress, yet she knows when to let somebody else take charge. With enough plot twists and a brilliant narrative, An Engagement of Sorts keeps its audience hooked to the story until the very end. Alene Wecker presents not just a romantic tale, but a story that sheds light on the double standards of society tastefully and intriguingly. Fans of Jane Austen and historical romance will appreciate the engaging plot and the brilliant dialogues of An Engagement of Sorts by Alene Wecker.