Twice Promised, by Maggie Brendan

Twice Promised is set in Colorado, 1888. Cora and Greta travel to Central City to be mail-order brides. Turns out it was actually the brother who wrote to them and got them both to come on false pretenses! Classy!

Eventually the brothers decide to each pick a chick based on the pattern on a cup of tea. OH NO turns out everyone loves the wrong person! Hijinks ensue! Also there is a robber-turned-good-boy (thanks, Christianity!), a sassy grandma, and a dog.

Anyhoo, I’d just finished reading Mansfield Park before reading this, so the comparison was really interesting! In comparison, Christians today seem super insecure and do a lot of insipid talking about how god is totally great and something something bible whatever Corinthians wazza wazza wazza.

Fanny Price is not going around talking about the bible and God’s Plan For Her, even though she IS a total drip and religious. Austen’s ladies have better things to do than spout Christian buzzwords and saccharine crud about how the Lord Is Good. They show instead of tell, you. Whereas, for example — Cora also left her family because of her religion. They’re like “Hey, daughter! Stop doing nice things! Christianity is DUMB, DUMBO!” Sounds likely! Not cartoonish at all!

Also I forgot — Greta was engaged to the 3rd brother, but nobody realized it for some time. Fiance’s dying words were to tell her to marry his brother. Sure! Cool!

Basically the whole driving force of the story is that everyone loves the person they weren’t Officially Courting, and no one wanted to say anything. Okay! Makes sense!

It does fade out on their wedding night, which seems cheap, but I’m sure it was Beautiful And Meaningful. Still, wasn’t that bad, which is more than I can say for some things I’ve read.

In conclusion, this book was not very exciting, but they do all kiss and feel funny in their pants, so I guess that’s something. It’s not like they’re fuckin’ in Austen (aside from Maria or Kitty, of course, but we can’t speak of them in polite society). This book is far less into propriety, actually. Pretty much the Christian bits seemed utterly unnecessary to anything in the book other than letting you feel good about yourself and believe you’re reading something that’s somehow godly instead of just some generic romance (with NO RAPE! I’ll give it that!).

Rating: 1 solid meh, but thanks for the lack of assault, Maggie Brendan!

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