The right love, the wrong time.
I’ve decided with my hectic schedule, the best way to get any reading in for a while is to read short fiction until deadlines ease up a bit and I can spend more time with Kindle in hand. To that effect, this weekend I picked up Susan Koenig’s short story, Nineteen Hundred.
I love historicals and this one is no exception. The characters are fresh–Gideon is quite a charmer, a true gentleman with a secret he aches to reveal, but cannot. Katheryn, though a little meek (as befits her time), has passion and goodness that catches Gideon’s eye. They immediately strike up an acquaintance, leaving the reader no doubt they are made for each other. Ms. Koenig’s characterizations are drawn with only a few strokes, yet they reveal much of her characters’ inner workings. Even the minor characters, such as the boarding-house proprietor Mrs Hodgson, are deftly penned and memorable.
Nineteen Hundred is also well plotted. As the hero and heroine inch their way toward intimacy, they are constantly beset by problems that stem from Gideon’s secret. It is heart-wrenching as we pull for their differences to iron themselves out, because in a very few pages we come to care deeply for these two people.
I promise the ending will surprise you, but as Nineteen Hundred is part of a larger work (though it stands alone perfectly well), we will have to wait for the rest of the story to see how it all plays out in the end.