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Will You Love Me in September by Philippa…

Will You Love Me in September (1981)

by Philippa Carr

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Although I prefer some of the earlier novels in the Daughters of England series, this one features a couple of characters who evoked my sympathy to a greater extent than any of the former heroines.

First off, Clarissa – the leading lady – is very endearing. She first appeared in the previous novel as an infant towards the latter stages and for me she stole the show with her childish charm.

In “The Drop of the Dice”, we meet Clarissa as a child again, watch her grow up, and towards the end the author twice skips along a decade.

I think this sudden fast-forwarding is a shame. This character deserved to narrate another story, and there’s certainly the scope available for another book from Clarissa’s perspective. I guess Ms Carr was adamant that each episode of the Daughters of England should be told by a new heroine.

Clarissa is likeable for several reasons, but it’s what she endures that won my sympathy. This isn’t a depressing tale, but there’s a lot of pathos throughout. And much disappointment for Clarissa, though it’s far from being all doom and gloom.

Another character for whom I also felt much sympathy towards is Clarissa’s cousin, Sabrina, who’s thirteen years her junior. Despite this, their relationship is more like that of a mother and daughter. This relationship becomes central to the story from about halfway through. Virtually every scene with Clarissa and Sabrina together is engaging for one reason or another.

As for the plot, this is quite varied, mainly owing to it changing with Clarissa as she grows up. We have the backdrop of early Georgian England, along with the Jacobites who want to restore the Stuart line to the throne.

Intrigue, deceit, theft, romance, adventure, and murder are all apparent here. Certain outcomes were easy to work out, others were less obvious, and I was surprised by a few twists in the tale.

I won’t spoil the ending, but will say it left me happy and sad at the same time. This is again owing to my sympathy for Clarissa and Sabrina. A good author should be able to affect readers by creating vivid and believable characters, therefore I can only praise Ms Carr for pulling this off so well. ( )
  PhilSyphe | Jun 30, 2017 |
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Original title: "The drop of the dice" reedited as "Will you love me in September"
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Clarissa, orphan daughter of Carlotta, is rescued from squalor and brought back to the family home at Enderby. Surrounded by Jacobite intrigues, she is kidnapped by them as a suspected spy. It is the Jacobite leader who allows her to escape. It is he Clarissa grows to love, despite her marriage to the handsome rake Lance Clavering. But Lance's skill at dice must not desert him if he is to rescue Clarissa from tragic scandal.
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In early eighteenth-century England, young Clarissa succumbs to the charms of Lance Clavering--who may imperil her fortune and her life--and confronts rebel Dickon Frenshaw--who may be her salvation.

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