The Forgetful Lady - Jacqueline Diamond
Released December 2010 (Reissue)
Reviewed by Tracy Farnsworth
The Forgetful Lady is not a new novel. Jacqueline Diamond wrote it back in 1984. It was then reprinted in 1986. Because this is a Regency-era romance, it doesn't feel dated. Women were treated differently back then often having little say in their choice of spouse. If you take a look at your own family's genealogy, as I have, it's refreshing to know that women's rights have come so far. One of my husband's distant relatives had to marry her older sister's older husband in the early 1800s when her sister died in childbirth with their 12th child. Letter's that others documented make it clear she was unhappy marrying a man 20 years her senior and becoming an instant-mom to nieces and nephews ranging in age from infancy to late teens, but she couldn't go against her father's wishes. It was just a way of life back then.
Within Jacqueline Diamond's novel, the heroine Lady Elizabeth Fairchild is in love with Lord Meridan, her family's neighbor, and hopes to impress him during a fox hunt. Unfortunately, she's thrown from one of his horses and loses her memory. Her brash attitude and insistence on telling others the truth makes her the talk of the town, and not in a good way. All Beth knows is that Lord Meridan blames her for his friend's death and she can't remember what she did. Unless she can, Lord Meridan may never see her as worthy of his hand.
Within The Forgetful Lady, there is a lot of catty behavior. Beth's mother had me wanting to strangle her, and her sister was honestly no better. Had I been Beth in today's world, I would have left and never returned. They were really horrible. Lord Meridan's really not much better. He's arrogant, unbending and absolutely maddening.
Yet it's those same characteristics that really prove that Jacqueline is a master at creating characters. You may hate some and love others, but it's clear that characterization is her strong suit.