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Reviewed by C.R. Hurst for Readers' Favorite
Stories like The Ormond Girl by Mireille Pavane remind me why I love short fiction. The story moves along at a fast clip with an elegant and fluid style reminiscent of Jane Austen and concludes with a seemingly ambiguous ending, though enough clues are given so that a careful reader can figure things out. The plot itself concerns the friendship between a young woman named Christiane Ormond who brooks no nonsense and a young man, Alexander Rochefort, who does. These opposing personalities become friends, though Rochefort wishes to be more than that. The remainder of the storyline follows the two opposites, and even a reluctant romantic like me hoped for the inevitable happy ending. Or is it inevitable?
What I enjoyed most about The Ormond Girl is its vibrant style. Pavane possesses a droll sense of humor that carries the story along and prevents it from becoming hackneyed. Even the characters, Miss Ormond and Lord Rochefort, could have walked off the pages of any Regency novel, though Pavane imbues them with enough vinegar to keep them fresh. The author also gives the story an added layer of meaning with her use of fable and epigraph at its start. The fable (or the synopsis, as the author calls it) introduces the theme of true love, while the epigraph based on Henry David Thoreau’s poem, Friendship, counters it by suggesting that friendship comes from “a deeper source” than romantic love. It is this type of insight that makes The Ormond Girl by Mireille Pavane such a pleasure to read.