The Beggar Bride by Gillian White

Rich bride, poor bride, beggar bride, thief…

🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

the beggar brideAnge Harper loves her husband and young son but she doesn’t love living in poverty. And since Billy can’t get work, Ange hatches a plan to make their fortunes. She will use her beauty to catch a rich man and find a way to divert some of his money to her own family. Cue entry of Sir Fabian Ormerod, born to money and busy making more. Sir Fabian is a sucker for unsuitable women as his previous two marriages have shown – and he is flattered and fooled by the attentions of this young, beautiful woman. So much so, he doesn’t enquire much into her background. But once Ange has caught her rich man, things start to get more complicated…

White’s strength is in building characters who are fun to spend time with despite their flaws and in this book she again succeeds in that. Ange’s scheming and deception of Sir Fabian is mitigated by her love for her son and her desire to give him a better start in life than she had. Sir Fabian is outwardly cold and snobbish, but at heart all he wants is a son to carry on his family name and business. There is a huge cast of quirky support characters and White gives each a distinct personality. The book takes a fairly light-hearted look at the class and wealth divides in Britain in the 1990s and pokes fun at the question of bloodlines and male primogeniture.

Gillian White (Source: fantasticfiction.co.uk)
Gillian White
(Source: fantasticfiction.co.uk)

Some of the characters are a bit caricatured, especially the rich ones, and the plot requires the reader to suspend a lot of disbelief, especially over the major issue of Sir Fabian’s acceptance into his family of this mysterious woman with no apparent background. I also found that the ending stretched credulity to near breaking point, relying far too heavily on the thriller writer’s friend, coincidence, while some strands were left dangling. Originally published in 1997, I feel White wasn’t yet quite showing the level of sure-footedness she achieved in her later novel Copycat but nonetheless this is an enjoyable read, well written and with a good deal of humour. Recommended.

NB This book was provided for review by the publisher.

Amazon UK Link
Amazon US Link

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