|2006 RITA Winner|
Why would I start my review with a review by someone else? To demonstrate a point about how extraordinary “The Marriage Miracle” by Liz Fielding really is.
RT reviewers are hard to impress. They review many very similar, average, books every month. And when an RT reviewer calls, The Marriage Miracle “One of the best Harlequin Romances this reviewer has ever read,” that is very rare and notable! Of course, the reviewer was right. “The Marriage Miracle” went on to win the RITA, (the Oscar of romance awards), for best short comtemporary romance.
The point is: why do we let the true romance gems, shine for a month or two, only to see them go out of print? “The Marriage Miracle” is also one of the best Harlequin Romances I’ve ever read and HR is my favorite line. I’ve read a lot of them. But I didn’t read, “The Marriage Miracle,” until just now. I missed it back then and I would likely have never read it at all except the title came up in a conversation. Fortunately, I was able to download the book in minutes.
I think eBooks will change what we read as well as how we read.
“The Marriage Miracle” is not old. I don’t think a reader today could tell it was not a new release. Why should anyone have to ‘dig’ for a book this good? Harlequin and Mills and Boon need to create a 'Hall of Fame' page on their websites dedicated to promoting their award winning romances. These should be available to purchase instantly as eBooks. I’d also like to see authors adopt tag lines which state something like: “Be sure to enjoy my RITA winning, ‘The Marriage Miracle’! The book title should be linked to a site where you can buy it.
What Makes, “The Marriage Miracle,” an Instant Standout?
“The Marriage Miracle” is a meaningful book. The story addresses difficult issues regarding the human condition. What does it mean to love? What does it mean to be a whole person? What do you do when truly loving someone means driving them away from you?
When an author can deal with these universal questions and embed them in a compelling, emotional and heartwarming romance, then something very special is created.
In the great opera, La Traviata, the heroine is able to drive the hero away for his own good. The question in, “The Marriage Miracle,” is will this same thing happen again? And, if not, why not? “The Marriage Miracle” is no ordinary romance. It will grab you and make you part of the story.
The heroine, Matilda Lang, is terrified when she feels herself falling in love with the hero, Sebastian Wolseley. An accident she had a few years before has left her in a wheelchair. She suffers many doubts. She is not even sure if she can have physical feeling for a man. Matty, as she is called, is a quick wit, a creative artist and a talented conservationist who is able to flirtingly lure men in and then drive them away. She can even enjoy the reactions and embarrassment her victums experience when they learn of her handicap. She may even disguise her disability from initial view at social events. Matty is a very conflicted and interesting personality.
The hero is as jaded, in his own way, as the heroine. As such, Matty’s antics don’t drive Sebastian away. They make her seem more real, more fully human, more worthy of love. But, of course, it can’t work. Even trying to allow for a relationship will lead to unnecessary pain and suffering.
The location is London and the beautiful English countryside. In the story there are many other considerations to capture the reader’s interest. It’s not just about the hero and heroine. These bigger conditions drive Matty and Sebastian closer together.
Like Water Flowing Down a Hill
The plot just seems to flow organically from the very nature of the characters. I felt after reading, “The Marriage Miracle,” that events happened the only way they could have happened. It was strange in a way. While I did not anticipate what was going to happen next, after it happened I thought: ‘yep, that’s just the way it should have happened. Why didn’t I think of it?’
In real life, I often don’t anticipate what is going to happen next either. That’s the crux: “The Marriage Miracle” is more like real life than it is like reading a romance. The story has meaning and meaning has a way of magnifying everything else: from joy to sadness.
When You Read, "The Marriage Miracle," You'll Just Know You Are Reading Something Special.