Greatest Hits: Shades of Milk and Honey by Mary Robinette Kowal

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Shades of Milk and HoneyKowal chose a fitting title for this Regency Era-with-a-magical-twist novel, for I found it both light and sweet. Jane Ellsworth, 28, has resigned herself to spinsterhood, but is still young enough to be jealous of her younger sister, Melody’s, beauty and likelihood of making a good marriage match. Melody, in turn, is envious of Jane’s talent with all the womanly arts that make a lady accomplished – especially her skill with glamour.


Glamour, the magic in this novel, is the manipulation of surrounding ether to create illusions or enhancements of sound, sight and smell. A variety of people seem to be able to work with glamour, but well-born ladies are taught how to use it to add beauty to their surroundings. Kowal does not let the magic overpower the story, it is simply an additional layer.


With the arrival of a mysterious glamourist, along with several other visitors to neighboring families in Dorchester, Jane and Melody begin competing for the attention of marriageable men. If you are a fan of Austen, you will surely recognize a fellow fan’s tribute to her and hopefully, like me, enjoy this pleasant romance.


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