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5 December 2013

Review: 'The Proposal' by Tasmina Perry (2013)

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.

When I received a review copy of Tasmina Perry’s latest release, ‘The Proposal’, it felt almost as exciting as getting a beautifully-wrapped gift. The book was tied with a gorgeous blue ribbon, and combined with the lovely cover, it truly felt like an early Christmas present! Next to that, I was excited about being able to read a new novel written by Tasmina Perry, who has definitely become one of my favourite authors during the past year. The blurb of ‘The Proposal’ promises a slightly different read than Tasmina Perry’s usual style, so I was quite curious to start reading!

Amy Carrell is an American dancer who has dreamed of performing on the London West End. However, after an injury, she finds herself spending most of her time auditioning and working as a waitress instead of performing. When her boyfriend Daniel, who in contrast to Amy was born in a wealthy family and has a promising career ahead of him, breaks up with her right before Christmas, Amy is fed up with it all. Longing to visit her family in New York, she reacts to an advertisement of an old lady named Georgia Hamilton who is looking for a companion to join her on a New York adventure. Soon, Amy and Georgia are on their way to New York and as the two spend more time together, Amy learns more about Georgia’s fascinating time as a debutante in the 1950s and her reason for wanting to visit New York for the first time...

The Tasmina Perry novels I’ve read so far could be described as glamorous and mysterious, and revolve around the death of a specific character. ‘The Proposal’ is completely different, which is shown by the cover and blurb, and instead promises a romantic tale perfect for the holidays. One thing the novel has in common with Tasmina Perry’s other books, though, is that it is a brilliant and captivating read. I fell in love with this novel as soon as I had read the first chapter and found myself thoroughly enjoying the journey through modern-day London and New York, and 1950s England. The book included some amazing flashbacks, which tell the story of Georgia’s experiences as a young debutante. I loved how the glamour and feel of old-fashioned times was brought to life, and I felt myself being able to conjure up the image of beautiful ballrooms filled with girls dancing in elegant dresses.

One of the strengths of this novel is definitely the two female characters at the centre of the story: Amy, who is trying to fit in and find her place in the world, and Georgia, who has been through a lot in her life. I loved reading both of their stories, and I really enjoyed the way the novel switched between the modern day and age and the 1950s. Tasmina Perry is a fantastic story teller, and this novel proves that she can do it all, whether it’s a mysterious murder mystery or a lovely warm tale of romance. ‘The Proposal’ is an elegant, fabulous, splendid novel of which I enjoyed every single word, and I would recommend this to anyone who loves a bit of romance. A perfect gift for the holidays!


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