Just say yes to this unforgettable read and take a spellbinding, romantic journey from the dazzling days of the debutantes in 1950s London to glamorous modern Manhattan.
When Amy Carrell’s wealthy boyfriend ends their relationship just before Christmas, she’s left to nurse her broken heart alone. With nothing to lose, she replies to an advertisement requesting a companion for a mysterious ‘Manhattan adventure’.
Whisked off to New York with eccentric British aristocrat Georgia Hamilton, Amy experiences a glamorous side of the city that she’s never seen before. Along the way, Georgia initiates her protegee in the arts of old-school elegance.
But as Georgia shares her life lessons, Amy discovers a painful secret in her mentor’s past. A secret that shattered her future. A story of love and betrayal that only Amy has the power to put right.
I’ve enjoyed reading Tasmina Perry’s previous books – despite being the size of door-stops they were glitzy and racy reads and an escape from normality although I have to admit that one or two of the later books haven’t always hit the mark for me. However, the latest offering, The Proposal, is a completely different type of read and I absolutely loved it.
26 year old American waitress/dancer, Amy Carrell, is expecting a proposal. She has spotted a Tiffany ring box in a drawer belonging to her high flying boyfriend Daniel and when he invites her to a posh pre-Christmas party, she is expecting a magical evening. However instead of a marriage proposal, she finds herself dumped, basically because Daniel and his parents do not consider her to be good enough.
When she subsequently answers an advertisement for a travelling companion for a trip to New York, it is merely a way for a cash-strapped Amy to be able to visit her family at Christmas whilst deciding what to do next. Little does she know how much of an impact on her life, her travelling companion, the elderly Georgia Hamilton, will have.
The story then slips back from 2012 to 1958 when we meet 18 year old Georgia Hamilton. Georgia having attending a Parisian finishing school, is fiercely independent with dreams of becoming a writer. However her family have other ideas and she is being heavily encouraged by them to participate in ‘The Season’ – to come out as a debutante with the end result of finding herself a rich husband. What Georgia lacks in temperament and the correct family background, she makes up for with strength of character and spirit and you feel for her as she tries to fit in with her peers.
Georgia’s time as a debutante was one of my favourite parts of the book. The glamour, the parties, the excitement of romance and the competitiveness between the girls as to who would bag the most eligible young men was brilliantly executed and I felt as though I were a bystander watching this most English of traditions.
Both Georgia and Amy were wonderful characters. Georgia’s background meant that she was a very proud and genteel lady and her attempts to advise and educate Amy in how to dress and which cutlery to use were countered by Amy’s sense of fun whilst showing Georgia around New York. Despite their difference in ages and lifestyle, you could feel the genuine fondness that developed between the two women and although her successful career had made her a very rich woman, there is a great sadness in Georgia’s life, and one which Amy is determined to put right.
I’ve never been to New York but the excellent descriptions of Central Park in December, the cold, the glamorous cafe’s and the general hustle and bustle really made it come to life. (There is a very good brief guide at the back of the book, giving more details of some of the NY locations visited).
This could easily be a contender for my book of the year. I loved spending time with both Georgia and Amy and was quite sad to get to the end. There is everything in this book – fabulous locations, glamour, romance and betrayal and I can’t recommend it highly enough.
My thanks to the Amazon Vine programme for the copy to review.
Author website: http://www.tasminaperry.com
I couldn’t finish this review without adding a picture of my own – and had to include the matching chocolate bar, courtesy of the publisher, Headline.