Felicity is a young débutante approaching the date of her “coming out” to society. She is still in love Archie, her childhood friend who is nine years her senior, whom she thoroughly embarrassed and drove away. Although he leaves for the Navy for six years Felicity is still utterly in love with him and devises a whole web of schemes to ensnare him.
I normally don’t like characters that are scheming, childish, and a little bit selfish, but I couldn’t help but like Felicity, even if I found her antics obnoxious. She knows why Archie couldn’t return her affections in the past, him being a twenty year old bachelor and her only eleven, yet she decides that to win his affections she needs to make him jealous. Never mind that he had been gone for six years and she had grown up. This is the old game that so many girls play because they want to be pursued and it never works. I also found the sub plot about the letters a little silly since it felt like it played such a minor role in the story despite being a major part of the book’s description. In fact, I felt that it showed Felicity’s utter lack of conviction to uphold her promise, which was really just a tantrum, yet another example of how immature she is.
“He was the same sweet Archie, and she was still the little girl desperately in love with him.”
What was good about the story though, is that Felicity doesn’t win at her game, and her attempt to be manipulative and play with other people does get her into quite a bit of trouble. Her deeds do not go unpunished, and that I felt was what made the book stand out. Felicity would have saved herself and many other characters a lot of trouble if she had just been honest, and this is a lesson I think more girls actually could stand to learn when it comes to love. If your honest feelings aren’t enough, forcing a relationship will do you no good either. Schemes and manipulation are harmful for everyone involved.
I found Archie’s character to be an absolute dreamboat. Although he is pretty dense when it comes to Felicity’s obvious worship of him, he still does everything in her best interest despite his own feelings. He is selfless while Felicity is incredibly selfish. She needs a guardian to keep her in line and Archie just happens to enjoy being one. Somehow these the two work well together.
I can’t give the book a higher rating because I did find Felicity’s character frustrating, but I did enjoy the story overall and found the romance enjoyable. I was curious how the story would play out and the story kept me captivated the whole way through.
Title: A Fair Hand
Author: Eva Deverell
Publisher: Self Published
Publication Date: 2015
Number of Pages: 63
Source: Free / Mailing List
When she proposed to Archie Holbrook at the tender age of eleven, Felicity Carrell had not expected her attentions to drive him away to the navy. Six years later, he returns to England to find that she has kept her promise of not breaking the seal on a single one of his letters, but can the same be said of her heart?