I read this book years ago – probably when it was first published in 1987 – and then there was the plagiarism controversy and it vanished (was it out of print). Anyway, I found a copy at the Rottnest General Store and I decided it was a good beach read.
Here is the blurb …
Sometimes fairy tales can come true–even for plain, shy spinsters like Missy Wright. Neither as pretty as cousin Alicia nor as domineering as mother Drusilla, she seems doomed to a quiet life of near poverty at Missalonghi, her family’s pitifully small homestead in Australia’s Blue Mountains. But it’s a brand new century–the twentieth–a time for new thoughts and bold new actions. And Missy Wright is about to set every self-righteous tongue in the town of Byron wagging. Because she has just set her sights on a mysterious, mistrusted, and unsuspecting stranger… who just might be Prince Charming in disguise.
This was a light, fun read without too much going on – the awful cousin and the terrible men of the family get what they deserve, Missy finds wealth and will live happily ever after. There is also a mystical/ghostly element to it. What’s not to like? It is definitely like The Blue Castle written by L.M Montgomery (of whom I am a huge fan) just moved from Canada to Australia (and a little bit rougher around the edges shall we say). The Blue Castle is available on Project Gutenberg Australia, which means it must be out of copy right (at least here) and that’s why The Ladies of Missalonghi has been re-released.
Read it as a curiosity, but if you haven’t read The Blue Castle, then I would read that first and not bother with this one.