I chose The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Orczy for my second Reading Challenge book. Actually, I was more forced into the choice, because when I went to the library with the intention of picking up Gone With the Wind, I found all copies checked out. I checked my Facebook page, where friends had given me recommendations, to find another option. Stardust, Hunt for Red October, To Kill a Mockingbird, Pride and Prejudice, all checked out! Finally found The Scarlet Pimpernel, which was one of the last books suggested.
Now, I have to admit that my “knowledge” of The Scarlet Pimpernel was grossly limited. Honestly, the only thing I knew about it was this…
I didn’t even know that a scarlet pimpernel was a flower. Sadly undereducated… that’s me!
For any of you who might be just as uneducated, the Scarlet Pimpernel is the leader of a group of English noblemen who are working to rescue French aristocrats and their families from being executed during the French Revolution. A French spy named Chauvelin is hunting him down, determined to bring him to “the fond embrace of Madame la Guillotine.”
Now, that said, I LOVED this book. Baroness Orczy’s writing is witty and charming. My 4-year-old gave me a few funny looks and queried, “What?” at some of my sniggerings, especially at the end when the Scarlet Pimpernel is revealed. I figured out the identity of the Scarlet Pimpernel very early on in the book, and it was fun to see the main character of Lady Marguerite Blakeney figure it out.
I really appreciated the character of Lady Marguerite. She goes to great lengths to protect her brother from the foxy Chauvelin (who gave me the utter creeps!), and only ends up digging herself into a deeper hole. However, she is no delicate flower to stand back and moan about her situation. When she realizes that something had to be done to save her brother and the Scarlet Pimpernel, she sets out to do it!
I highly recommend this book if you want a little adventure and a good dose of romance (yes, I didn’t realize this was a romance, either) and some wonderfully witty banter!
Next week I will review The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum, which will hopefully be my “book you can read in a day,” unless my children conspire against me.