Yea, I’m one of those who watched and was hooked on Netflix’s Bridgerton. The drama and all the gossiping in it made it very entertaining, but it was the costumes and the acting itself that lured and held my interest throughout.
Since learning that it’s based on a novel, I’ve wanted to read the source material ever since to find out what happens next and to see in what ways it defers from the show. So, when I saw that the audiobook was available at my library, I quickly downloaded and began listening to it. It, too, was very entertaining.
Romance; Historical Fiction
Bridgertons, book 1
Taking inspiration from Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice (and probably other classic novels I do not know of), The Duke & I centers on the large Bridgerton family whose matriarch wants to see her children married off well. The story focuses on Daphne Bridgerton, who was recently introduced to society but hasn’t had many suitors, probably because her older brothers (there are three of them) are a bit intimidating.
When she bumps into Simon Basset, the Duke of Hastings, the two hatch a plan to feign interest in each other to attract more suitors to Daphne and to stave off the eager society mothers seeking Simon as a suitable match for their daughters. The plan goes too well and soon the two begin to truly develop feelings for each other. But Simon knows he can never be with Daphne because he has vowed never to marry or prolong his family line to spite his awful late father. (Goodreads)
Oh man! I enjoyed the book almost as much as I did the TV show. It progresses very quickly, the characters were funny, and, of course, I loved Lady Whistledown’s voice. It was a very entertaining read.
I do prefer how some characters come across on the page than in the TV show. I think we get more insight into Simon’s thoughts and perspective on things in the book, so I prefer him there. I also like that Daphne and Simon share their plans with Anthony in the book. It’s something I wished for while watching the show although keeping Anthony in the dark about their pretend relationship added more drama to the situation. I also preferred Mrs. Bridgerton (the mother) in the book. We only view her through her children’s eyes, which made her come across as a mama bear most times who’s very intent on marrying off her eligible children. She is also funnier in the book. My favorite part was when she tried discussing sexual intercourse with Daphne and looked at the window as if she could escape through it.
There aren’t as many sex scenes in the book as there is in the show, of course, but the book is still quite steamy and problematic in the same spot that arose in the show. I really wish the characters had discussed that situation since Daphne (in the book) didn’t seem to understand that she’d done something wrong by taking advantage of Simon when he did not want her to do so.
Despite that, I thoroughly enjoyed the book and look forward to reading the next in the series. My only complaint is that I was a bit inpatient with the dialogue scenes and at times thought they went on for too long. But I see that as more my fault (too impatient) than something wrong with the story. Also, we don’t get as much of the Featheringtons as I’d hoped (the show spoiled me on them; I like the Featheringtons and their “unflattering” style) and almost nothing of Eloise, which I didn’t expect. Of course, the book is very different from the TV show but after experiencing one, it does set you up with expectations regarding the other.
Another thing is that I listened to the second epilogue that was included in the audiobook edition I listened to and it spoiled me on who Mrs. Whistledown is. Yes, I know who she is in the show, but I didn’t agree with it and didn’t want to believe it, so I convinced myself that it would be different in the book. It’s not.
As for the narrator of the audiobook, she did a great job bringing the story and its characters to life for me and keeping me engaged in what I was listening to. I hope she’s the narrator for the rest of the series. I think I might listen to the audiobook of the others as well.
An entertaining historical romance novel that you’re sure to speed through. I highly recommend both the book and the TV show adaptation of it on Netflix — Bridgerton.
Buy | Borrow | Bypass
If it sounds like your sort of thing, then get yourself a copy.