The Wilderling : Rochford Saga Paperback
Part of the Rochford Trilogy series
Like a wilderling - a cultivated flower that manages to live in the wild - Lucienne Rochford has survived her terrible early years in France. Although born into the British aristocracy, Lucy was raised in obscurity first in a French convent and then in a Parisian brothel.
At sixteen, she is restored to her rightful place as the daughter of the Rochford family, but a devastating betrayal by her father fires her determination to seek wealth and independence at any cost. She learns the ways of society and catches the eye of the handsome and noble Count Alexis Zemski, who swears his love and agrees to marry Lucy even after learning of her past. As World War I shatters Europe, Lucy Rochford begins to learn what life and love are all about...
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 608 pages
- Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
- Publication Date: 02/06/2011
- Category: Historical romance
- ISBN: 9780749954277
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Review by AdonisGuilfoyle
Claire Lorrimer's writing is two parts Baroness Orczy, one part Philippa Gregory - but in the best, most entertaining fashion! The second instalment of the Rochford trilogy covers the First World War, and Lorrimer's attention to historical detail captures a sense of the era, from the sinking of the Titanic in 1912 to Armistice Day in 1918, without wallowing too much in the tragedy of war or the social upheaval at home. This is romance territory, after all! Still, the author's patriotism and appreciation of times gone by make even the most melodramatic plot twists seem credible, and that's what keeps me reading.Sophia Lucienne Rochford, daughter of the saintly Willow from <i>The Chatelaine</i>, is <i>The Wilderling</i> – ‘a cultivated flower that has managed to survive in the wild’. Willow’s firstborn was banished to France by her evil grandmother, where ‘Sophie’ was raised in a convent and ‘educated’, shall we say, in a Parisian brothel. After hearing of her true heritage, Lucy returned to Rochford Manor to claim her birthright – on the very day that Willow finally walked out on her cruel and cheating husband, Lucy’s father, and returned to America. Motivated by financial gain and independence, Lucy moves in with the newly widowed Willow and extended Rochford kin, forging a tentative bond with her half-brother and sister Oliver and Alice. Although the young girl pretends to be cold and uncaring, she is really a ‘tart with a heart’, scared to love anyone after a childhood of neglect and hardship. I actually preferred Lucy when she was calmly rebuffing her tall, dark and handsome husband with her own mercenary logic, but the inevitable transformation from moneygrubbing adventuress to wife and mother, via bright young thing and nurse, is strangely compelling. Although this is Lucy’s story, the rest of the Rochford clan put in guest appearances – Willow and Toby, Rupert and his gay German lover, Sylvie and Pelham in France, plus assorted offspring. The children are actually the most original characters, and I fear I will have to read the third and final novel in the series, <i>The Dynasty</i>, to follow Dodie’s precocious daughter Zandra through another World War!